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Got Big Data? Well Then, You Need Big Analytics

Unless you’ve been asleep for the past year, you are probably aware of the data tsunami, tidal wave, the ever growing digital universe, etc., etc., etc.  One recent article put the actual size of data at 800,000 petabytes or the equivalent of all the information stored on 75 billion Apple iPads. However you want to cut it, that’s big. In fact, the term Big Data, coined to describe the exponential growth of digital data, has become a household word due to the folks that make up O’Reilly Radar. We highly recommend that you bookmark this site and sign up for their data newsletter.

PatternBuilders is a leading provider of what we like to call “big analytics.” Our technology provides an analytics platform which essentially takes all that big data, analyzes it, and applies real-time business process automation to it to enable fact-based decision-making and improved processes. This is the way we see it: big data is not useful without the application of big analytics. One without the other is a recipe for failure.

It stands to reason that the more data you have the better decisions you can make; whether it’s about buying a Kinect Box (our opinion: yes), which of the 5,000 stores that carry your product is almost out of stock (and need more) or the best ways to deliver antibiotics to Haiti. Maybe you’ve read “Super Crunchers,” by Ian Ayres or followed the Freakonomics column in the New York Times, or any number of books, blogs, podcasts, videos, conferences, and websites that now talk about real-time analytics, big data, predictive modeling, business intelligence 2.0 (and now even 3.0), Hadoop, NoSQL, and the cloud.

Yes, there is value in all that data. But understanding it and using it in a short enough time to make it useful is HARD. When we look at what’s going on with data and analytics today, we are equal parts amazed (look at what we can do) and frustrated (a lot of companies are bringing the technology equivalent of a knife to the big data/big analytics gun fight).  We often feel like we are operating in the Wild Wild West where there are few rules about data standards and governance while technology advances seem to happen almost every day which results in new solutions/companies (like ours) rising up while established companies fade into irrelevance or try buy their way into this new fight via acquisitions.

The data revolution means that we live in interesting times and this blog is designed to give the PatternBuilders team, some surprise guests, and you a forum to comment on them and, hopefully, provide clarity on some great ideas in theory and in practice when it comes to the data and analytics landscape from a business, ethics (yes there are ethical questions to consider whether you are operating personally or professionally), and technology perspective.  Much of what you will read here will be about internal conversations (sometimes very heated) we are having about big analytics technology, both ours and others, and the impact of these technologies on businesses and on society as a whole.  We are looking forward to a lively conversation. Like we said we live in interesting times.  

So please, join us in the conversation and let us know your point of view.

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