For more than five years, business and technology leaders have been obsessing about big data. The potential for massive data sets and advanced analytics to provide new insights into markets, track changes in consumer sentiment in real time, or reveal connections in medical data that no human could detect, captured imaginations everywhere. Big data shot to the top of Gartner’s hype cycle. Everybody was talking about the possibilities. But in reality, only a relative handful of companies in a few industries, such as life sciences, retail and manufacturing were reaping the benefits, where analytics are heavily used, with standard products like Cloudera, Google, and IBM Watson.
Now, big data has been removed from the Gartner hype cycle—not because the buzz about big data has faded, but because big data has been finally recognized as a useful tool for all kinds of businesses, ranging from finance to pharmaceuticals, manufacturing to telecom and so on. Our TCS Oracle Practice is working with clients to use big data analytics across their operations.
If anything, the returns that companies are now seeing on their big data investments are creating even more excitement. An example from one of our customers illustrates why. The company is based in North America and is in the electronics business. It relies on subcontractors and lengthy supply chains in Asia to produce its products. If the design that the company hands off to its manufacturing partner contains a hidden flaw, it might not be discovered until millions of units have passed into distribution and purchased by end users. By then, hundreds of millions of dollars could be at risk and the company’s reputation might be ruined. It’s not like the old days, when the manufacturer could run down to the factory floor and stop the assembly line until the bug was fixed. We worked with the company to incorporate a predictive and prescriptive analytics system built on big data into its design processes, which will contain quality issues and reduce costs substantially over the next two years.
There are still many challenges for users of big data, but the tools are getting better all the time. And with every big data implementation we do, we and our clients are building the knowledge and experience to make big data applications part of the standard IT portfolio. That is beginning to make enormous improvements in how companies operate. Indeed, these days it looks like big data is an excellent example of new technology that lives up to—or even exceeds—the hype.
Our team of business consultants and Oracle solution experts will present our best success stories at Oracle OpenWorld 2016, September 18-22 in San Francisco. I hope you have the opportunity to meet with our team and learn more about our work and big data innovations and success stories and I welcome your comments and questions here.