Big data is changing the game
At the Teradata user group conference, hosted recently by Bytes Systems Integration, companies were urged to make better use of the 'big data' they already own to gain insight into their markets and secure future business for themselves.
Bytes Systems Integration is part of the Bytes Technology Group, which is wholly owned by JSE-listed Altron, and is the sole local distributor of Teradata's products.
Teradata is rated as number one by analysts like Gartner, and is the world's largest company solely focused on creating enterprise agility through database software, enterprise data warehousing, data warehouse appliances and analytics.
Ken Jarvis, IT guru and respected organisational visionary, spoke about the future of South Africa's IT industry, saying that Cape Town has become “South Africa's Silicon Valley” and that the data wave is about to hit.
“The mobile phone should be called the human sensory device, as it offers business intelligence analysts a huge scope for work through its rich data,” he said. “Social analytics should be used by companies to mine information by monitoring social media on applications like Twitter and LinkedIn.”
The sheer amount of data companies have to deal with was also explained by Teradata's Dr Stefan Schwarz, who said that big data had become a reality of life.
“The Internet is doubling in size every year and the driver of that growth is, predictably, social media. One third of all tweets are about a product or brand, and this can provide important analytical information for companies to understand their brands and their services,” he said.
The conference focused on how businesses can conquer the complexity of their big data environments by looking at them differently.
Teradata director Rob Armstrong said companies are the creators of much of their own complexity. “We should discard what we think is undoable and instead bring process to the data. This will help the data warehousing industry overcome obstacles that are yet to be defined, but are a result of big data,” he said.
Chris McAuley, director at SAS Fraud and Financial Crimes Group, spoke about the impact of the global increase in fraud, highlighting that it is not only professional hackers and criminals causing the damage, but also staff working within companies. While identity theft remains a problem, McAuley said the problem has its roots in data. “Ultimately, all fraud boils down to some form of data theft,” he said.
Attendees also learnt more about Teradata Database 14, the company's high-performing analytical engine that powers all of Teradata's “purpose-built” platform family members.
“Whether you need a data warehouse appliance or a flexible enterprise data warehouse, Teradata Database is the choice. Teradata brings analytical processing to all corners of your organisation. Its proven analytical power and flexibility, scalability and ease of use allow your entire organisation to benefit from your valuable corporate information assets,” Armstrong said.
Dr Schwarz ended the day with what had become the main message from all speakers: “The future belongs to companies that turn data into products.”