Complacency today, catastrophe tomorrow?


The past two weeks have been busy in terms of marketing events for Actian; we’ve run our very own Financial Services summit in London, we chaired and presented at the Big Data Worldshow in Singapore, we were at Big Data in Paris, at Hadoop Summit in Amsterdam and the Gartner BI and Analytics conference in Las Vegas.  While we all return back to our offices and catch our breath, the overwhelming takeaway from conversations at the events is that those organizations that are not doing advanced analytics on their data today risk failing in the future, that those who are still running Business Intelligence reports on historic events and not moving to a more predictive analytic model are setting themselves up for a fall.  And it is not so much a case of failing to prepare, but more one of preparing themselves to fail.

Complacency today, catastrophe tomorrow

So, what does this mean?  Discussions at the events proved that the question is not one of whether companies should embrace big data or Hadoop or any other phenomenon just for the sake of it.  The question is far more profound; whether companies are taking a cold, hard look at their businesses and doing things with their data today that will help them survive.  If not, then today’s complacency might just spell tomorrow’s catastrophe.  Inertia today may bring about a business failure tomorrow.

Companies today need to be using data and looking at analytics differently – running predictive queries instead of simple ones, running them in real-time instead of in batches looking back historically, using all data volumes not just samples.  In short, looking forward, not looking backward.

For it is true that companies who embrace analytics significantly outperform their peers, both from a revenue and profitability standpoint.  In today’s world, there is an immense opportunity for businesses to become leaders; if they manage and analyze data more dynamically, they will become a leader in their space.

Sure, the naysayers will tell us that going from reactive to prescriptive is hard.  And if you are continuing to use solutions and technology that is 30 years old, it may well be.  But that isn’t an option anymore, there is nowhere else to go?  In crowded marketplaces, those that do, succeed, those that don’t, do not.  Take Blockbusters and Netflix.  Think of Barnes & Noble and Amazon.  Consider Yellow Pages and Google.  In all instances, the former entities chose to stay put and not react to the market and technological advances, whereas the latter companies went ahead and did things differently using their data.  Which companies are more successful and make more money and are growing more quickly?  Clearly, it is the latter.  The leaders, not the laggards.

The good news is that there are big data analytics solutions to enable companies to get ahead of the curve.  Solutions that help businesses to extract value from the noise, dicipher the signals from the hubbub, turn key points into business value – all at scale, easily, quickly and affordably.  Fundamentally, helping businesses to get competitive advantage and customer satisfaction by reacting to data in real-time, at scale, without limitations and at a price that they can afford.

In today’s fast-paced and competitive world, the question to ask yourself is whether you are prepared to be complacent today and suffer a catastrophe tomorrow.  Or do you want to take action today that will help protect your future?  I know which one I would choose.

About Sean Jackson

Sean Jackson is the marketing director for EMEA and APAC at Actian. Sean has an insatiable appetite to travel, ski, improve his photography skills, write, become a master of Adobe Creative Suite, play the piano, speak a variety of languages, and discover more about the world of big data analytics and Hadoop.

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