Where Will Big Data Have The Greatest Impact In 2013?

As Yogi Berra once said, “The future ain’t what it used to be.”

Like every Yogi-ism I know, this one makes you chuckle, and then scratch your head and think, “You know, he may be on to something there . . .”

For business executives, I’m certain the year ahead is not going to be what we’re used to. In 2013, we’re going to witness the digital revolution press ever forward, with the constant evolution of sophisticated new technologies that lead to new approaches.

Essentially, I see these trends falling into four broad categories, and in the months ahead, I’ll be keeping a careful eye on:

  • Applications. It’s time for all of us to move beyond the hype and buzzwords surrounding big data. We need to start “walking the talk,” rolling up our sleeves and getting to work. After all, as 2013 unfolds, I believe it’s going to become increasingly clear that business success now depends on not only gathering (or awareness about) data, but on the application of that data. In other words, if you want to maintain your competitive advantage in today’s marketplace, your organization needs to create business solutions and provide business value through data.

Teradata’s applications can help you mobilize your business intelligence (BI) to improve decision making at every level by pushing detailed and historical data and advanced analytics to your front-line decision makers. For example, in this case study, we explain how a single data repository enabled a grocery chain to level the competitive playing field and give its analysts better visibility into the company’s business and financial operations.

  • Business needs. Big data is no longer the sole purview of IT. Today, big data is now a critical top-line business concern for the entire enterprise. That’s no surprise, of course, considering technology now drives virtually everything a company does, from communication and marketing to supply chain management and (ideally) decision-making. How will companies rise to this challenge?
  • Executive alignment. As big data becomes increasingly recognized as a business need, watch for re-definition of the C-suite. In 2013, I’m expecting to see more and more hybrid titles and enhanced alignment across departments. For example, see this Q & A with digital marketing experts William Rand, director of the Center for Complexity in Business at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business, and Devendra Mishra, adjunct professor of decision sciences and marketing at Pepperdine University’s Graziadio School of Business & Management, to learn more about why companies are adding a chief digital officer (CDO) to their executive roster.
  • Marketing. According to the CMO Council’s sixth annual State of Marketing audit, 2013 is going to be the year of the marketer. The marketing execs who responded to the survey were overwhelmingly positive about their roles and functional areas, with more than half reporting budget increases and nearly half anticipating hiring new talent. This optimism is based on the power of data –or more precisely, it’s based on the power of data-driven insights.

Think about it: Today, the customer experience revolves around technology, and every step of the way, data plays a role. The customer experience is driven by data, managed by marketing operations (more data) which now can be tapped for key (data-driven) insights.

Over the next few months, I’ll be using this space to explore these four topics in greater detail. I hope you’ll stay tuned and join in on the discussion. I promise it will be beneficial as you plan your strategy for the future. Like Yogi said, “If you don’t know where you’re going, you might not get there.”

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