Tips to improve RoI from Big Data for enterprises: Oracle VP Sundar Ram

IT major Oracle is the first vendor to offer customers a complete and integrated set of products to address critical Big Data requirements, unlock efficiencies, simplify management and create data insights that maximize business value.

Sundar Ram, vice president, Technology Sales Consulting Oracle Corporation, Asia Pacific, says the company is uniquely qualified to combine everything needed to meet the big data challenge – including software and hardware – into one engineered system.

Excerpts of an online interview:

On tips and solutions to enterprise CIOs to improve RoI from Big Data deployments

To make the most of big data, enterprises must evolve their IT infrastructures to handle the rapid rate of delivery of extreme volumes of data, with varying data types, which can then be integrated with an organization’s other enterprise data to be analyzed. This infrastructure, required for analyzing big data, must be able to support deeper analytics such as statistical analysis and data mining, on a wider variety of data types stored in diverse systems; scale to extreme data volumes; deliver faster response times driven by changes in behaviour; and automate decisions based on analytical models. Most importantly, the infrastructure must be able to integrate analysis on the combination of big data and traditional enterprise data. New insight comes not just from analyzing new data, but from analyzing it within the context of the old to provide new perspectives on old problems.

Sundar Ram, Oracle

For example, analyzing inventory data from a smart vending machine in combination with the events calendar for the venue in which the vending machine is located, will dictate the optimal product mix and replenishment schedule for the vending machine.

Demands of enterprise customers

Enterprises today are looking for highly customized, easy to deploy solutions. They are asking for specialized, real-time analytic tools to help them gage customer experience and improve revenue streams. Analytics is in fact becoming part of every application – from ERP to HRM, CRM, customer experience, and supply chain management software.  Companies are also asking for Big Data tools to help them with social network analysis. These tools can help them collect or stream data from social media sites directly into their customer relationship management (CRM) or customer service applications. This will help them determine the relative importance of a particular social media post; determine the clout of a customer and get a better picture of his/her behaviour. It can further help integrate new channels such as social media and mobile into the marketing mix to attract and engage with consumers.  So we are seeing progressive enterprises re-evaluate the potential value of their business data and work towards building a Big Data infrastructure that taps into this treasure trove of information using multiple tools and for multiple purposes.

Oracle strategies in the big data segment

Oracle’s strategy is centered on the idea that enterprises can evolve their current data architecture to incorporate big data and deliver business value, leveraging the proven reliability, flexibility and performance of Oracle systems to address their big data requirements.

Offering customers an end-to-end solution for Big Data, the Oracle Big Data Appliance, in conjunction with Oracle Exadata Database Machine and the new Oracle Exalytics Business Intelligence Machine, delivers everything customers need to acquire, organize, analyze and maximize the value of Big Data within their enterprise.

Oracle’s Big Data approach relieves customers off the integration involved in assembling a suitable set of hardware and software components to create big data architecture. In addition, it allows customers to leverage commercial quality support with the entire system being supported by a single vendor.

Latest trends in Big Data

There is going to be an unprecedented growth in data in the coming years and according to industry research, the digital universe in India is expected to grow 23 fold to over 2.3 zettabytes of data by 2020. Four trends are driving this growth in data: the capture of detailed data more frequently across every customer interaction; the prevalent use of multimedia; the widespread adoption of social media like Facebook & Twitter; and the rollout of intelligent sensors embedded in physical devices that can sense, create, and communicate data.

The growth in data is fuelling the adoption of Big Data technologies across different sectors in the country. Organizations now want to do deeper and more sophisticated analysis of this data because when this multi-structured Big Data is distilled and analysed, and meshed with traditional enterprise data,  companies can develop a more thorough and insightful understanding of distinct aspects of their business.Such analysis can throw up unforeseen insights that can lead to enhanced productivity, a stronger competitive position and greater innovation – all of which can have a significant impact on the bottom line and can help organisation find new avenues for top line growth.

For example, in the delivery of healthcare services, management of chronic or long-term conditions is expensive. Use of in-home monitoring devices to measure vital signs, and monitor progress is just one way that sensor data can be used to improve patient health and reduce both office visits and hospital admittance.

Manufacturing companies deploy sensors in their products to return a stream of telemetry. Sometimes this is used to deliver services like OnStar, that delivers communications, security and navigation services. Perhaps more importantly, this telemetry also reveals usage patterns, failure rates and other opportunities for product improvement that can reduce development and assembly costs.

The proliferation of smart phones and other GPS devices offers advertisers an opportunity to target consumers when they are in close proximity to a store, a coffee shop or a restaurant. This opens up new revenue for service providers and offers many businesses a chance to target new customers.

Retailers usually know who buys their products. Use of social media and web log files from their ecommerce sites can help them understand who didn’t buy and why they chose not to, information not available to them today. This can enable much more effective micro customer segmentation and targeted marketing campaigns, as well as improve supply chain efficiencies.

Finally, social media sites like Facebook and LinkedIn simply wouldn’t exist without big data. Their business model requires a personalized experience on the web, which can only be delivered by capturing and using all the available data about a user or member.

Rajani Baburajan
[email protected]