Rackspace roundtable reveals how to approach the big data problem.
Many business are looking for the answers of how to use Big Data to gain a competitive advantage.
But industry experts at today’s Rackspace Big Data Roundtable in London said the key to success is asking the right questions in the first place.
The overriding sentiment at the event was that business managers need to have the skills to ask sensible questions to drive the business forward.
Bernd Kaponig, solutions principal, EMC, said the next step in Big Data is to enable business people to make better use of the technology that they have.
"When [EMC] do workshops and consultancy engagement, it’s mainly about enabling [managers] to get a feel for the art of the possible – what questions can they ask of their data that is relevant to their business?
"You can really get people’s imagination going on the business side and what they can ask of the data they have," he said.
Businesses can end up having counter intuitive strategies if they do not know what to do with their data. There have been instances of businesses demanding real time data streams, but then only discussing the results at monthly board meetings, which negates the point of having real time capabilities in the first place.
"The challenge is people have been trained and told that they can’t do that level of reporting because they don’t have the IT infrastructure, so they don’t ask the questions," said Chris Harris, technical director, Hortonworks.
"There’s a shift of being able to drive an organisation traditionally with fairly simplistic reporting to really becoming a data driven company. Understanding your entire view of your customer and how they are interacting with me and making decisions from my data and not from my gut."
John Glendenning, GM EMEA, DataStax, agreed saying that asking the right questions of Big Data is a challenge because businesses are used to operating without this technology and now the data can make them more customer centric.
"The business leaders that get that and embrace that will be the market leaders of the future and if they don’t they won’t be. It’s as simple as that," he said.