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The Stack Archive

Big Data democracy means better decisions and better performance

Tue 8 Apr 2014

28/2/14 – The technical and economic barriers to storing, aggregating and performing insightful analytics on combined data are finally accessible and cost-effective as to allow companies to gain business insight and outperform competitors.

Mark Melton, a senior engineer with analytics specialist, Pentaho, told the Data Centre World conference that across many organisations there is a need to explore vast amounts of data and analyse it in order to provide better services, targeted to the right people. “There is also an increasing urgency across these organisations to drive down costs, invest in optimal IT approaches and drive efficiency throughout departments,” he said.

In his presentation entitled: Big data use cases, and optimising the data warehouse, he argued that powerful analytics capabilities and intuitive data visualisation tools are essential for enabling users to derive benefits from large, dynamic and diverse data sets.

“Early business intelligence dashboards initially made headway by providing many users with simple charts that analysed historical data,” he said. “Today’s sophisticated dashboards have become much more intuitive, presenting information in near real-time on a much wider range of computers and devices. They can now access data much more easily and discover hidden data relationships within a much greater choice of internal and external big data sources.”

He said that also while these sorts of insights were once the sole preserve of IT and data experts, now they are available to users on a self-service basis. “Most of these professionals wouldn’t consider themselves to be ‘business intelligence users,’ and certainly not professional data scientists, data analysts or big data experts,” he added.

He described big data as being datasets that grow so large that they become awkward or uneconomical when using traditional database management and business intelligence tools.

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