The Big Data Edge

Established companies as well as new entrants are leveraging big data to innovate, compete and capture market value, says Murli Mohan.

A joint study by NASSCOM and CRISIL Global Research & Analytics suggests that by 2015, the big data industry is expected to become a $25 billion industry. The report estimates that the Indian big data industry will grow from $200 million in 2012 to $1 billion in 2015 at a CAGR in excess of 83%.

The use of big data is a way for organisations in various sectors to outperform their peers in their respective space. Established companies as well as new entrants are leveraging big data to innovate, compete and capture market value. Many companies sit on large information flows of data of various products and services, buyers and suppliers, consumer preferences and intent are collected and analysed to make better management decisions.

Here is a look at some of the industries where big data analytics is used for competitive advantage:

Healthcare: Data analysts in healthcare organisations are increasingly using data to assist clinical decision making, identify patients with a pattern in their sickness, high risk patients, etc. to provide better services for them and reduce wastage. Analytics is also used to analyse unstructured texts from physicians and nursing documentation and compare those notes across a larger population of patients, improving clinical practice and treatments of various illnesses. Pharmaceutical companies analyse the health outcomes of pharmaceuticals that were widely prescribed, which results in better understanding of the patient’s response to the medicine—discovering benefits and risks that were not evident during clinical trials.

Education: In higher education, statistical models are being used to help identify university students at risk for not completing courses or dropping out of school. What once was a very reactive event—an advisor contacting a student after it was too late to assist them in turning their grades around—now is a proactive effort. With predictive modelling, advisors are alerted sooner to at-risk student behaviour and can work with students to get back on track, resulting in increased attendance, reduced drop-out rates, and more consistent revenue for the university.

Retail: Retailers are tapping into big data to streamline operations and gain a competitive edge over rivals by leveraging analytics to price their goods and services based on real-time metrics such as competitor pricing, supply chain and inventory data, market data and consumer behaviour data. This results in narrowing the target customers and providing them with much more tailored products and services, targeting promotions and personalising offers based on purchasing behaviour of the customer. In some nations, retailers have also started to analyse their video data to understand the effectiveness of promotional displays and campaigns, which helps them improve their store layout and product placements.

Industrial: Oil is a natural depleting resource and it has to be utilised with care. Oil fields these days use instruments that constantly read data on well head conditions, pipelines and mechanical systems, analysed by a cluster of computers which is later served to real time operations centres in order to optimise production and minimise downtimes. Using big data analytics, an oil company can easily increase its oil production by 5 to 10 percent yet cut operating costs by 10 to 25 percent.

Auto sector: The auto sector, too, has been a great adopter of big data and analytics solutions, especially in the manufacturing unit, to detect faults. For example, when a machine fails, its sensors trigger the rest of the unit from breaking down completely. The companies also use big data analytics to analyse massive amounts of unstructured information, or big data, to spot trends and gain business insights. The data captured at the time of a sale is integrated with service operations and all warranty terms and conditions are built into this dealer management software; thus, the eligibility of a vehicle is instantly authenticated through an online check.

There are many significant ways in which big data and analytics can unlock the business potential, depending on the sector it has been deployed in. As organisations create and store more transactional data in the digital form, they can collect more accurate and detailed performance information on everything from product inventories to sick days. This, in turn, helps them substantially improve decision-making and also improves the development of next-generation products and services.

Murli Mohan is General Manager of Dell Software Group.

big data industryCrisilIndiaNASSCOMreport
Comments (0)
Add Comment