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Want to Combine Your Gut Instincts with Extreme Data Insights? This is How.

Pallab Deb headshotIn this special guest feature, Pallab Deb, Vice President and Global Head, Analytics at Wipro Limited, outlines how you can gain benefit from using your gut business instincts by combining them with extreme data insights. Pallab Deb in his current role heads the Wipro’s Analytics service line which delivers state of the art analytics solutions to a global clientele. With his extensive experience in Information Technology, Pallab has not only held multiple leadership roles in Connected Enterprise Services (CES) service line of Wipro, client engagements & strategic alliances but also has led sales teams on complex consulting, system integration and outsourcing deals in North America and Europe in High Tech, Manufacturing, Retail & Consumer Goods, Life Sciences and Utilities industries delivering on aggressive sales growth targets for seven consecutive years.

Organizations are tantalizingly close to a vast amount of data that can prove meaningful to business. But it is overwhelming. There is a prodigious amount of text, visual and audio information flowing across media reports, company filings, government records, surveys, research documents, social media, messaging applications, blogs, email, IVR, machine logs, contracts, ERP, POS, CRM, MES, IoT, etc. Somewhere, within that blur of rapidly flowing real-time data, is the insight that could change your business. You itch to explore it, but the best your traditional systems can offer are standard, pre-packaged reports. For most of us, the data is unfortunately scattered across dozens of unwieldy and sometimes unreliable spreadsheets. What you need is a platform that helps you discover insights from data. Data discovery is about creating and using interactive reports and explorable data from multiple sources.

Assume for a moment that, as the head of operations for a global manufacturing company, you need to gain insights into how competitive Australia is versus Sweden. Your gut instinct tells you to examine information related to infrastructure investments together with education levels while factoring in efficiency enhancers such as labor market policies and current levels of investor optimism (some of which is trapped in video form as industry leaders discuss the economy over national television!). But as the head of technology for the same company, you may need to get to the bottom of technological readiness, skills availability and innovation indices.

Customizing the Data Experience

This is where a data discovery platform that supports a multitude of algorithms, accommodates a variety of data models, and has natural language processing, stream computing and machine learning capability comes handy. It lets users at all levels within a business explore data based on role, need and desired level of granularity. Users can play with data, experiment and test hypothesis using their instincts and experience, rather than rely on pre-determined queries such as those in traditional analytical systems.

This exceptional capability doesn’t require specialized user training or support. A well-designed data discovery platform makes things simple by deploying intuitive drag-and-drop or click-to-find visual interfaces together with ad hoc queries, without having to wait for intervention from IT. The result is a 360-degree view of insights – descriptive, predictive and prescriptive.

Such platforms can be ratcheted up a notch using an apps-based ecosystem built around common use-cases across verticals like healthcare, retail, banking and insurance. These use cases can be around critical business elements including customer attrition, reputation management, fraud detection, and more. The insights generated can help enhance customer loyalty or harness data for business efficiency that would not normally be considered, including market basket analysis, predictive asset maintenance solutions and sentiment analytics to protect online reputation through data-driven reputation management solutions. These apps can be customized according to business needs and be fully integrated into enterprise workflow and processes.

Embracing the Convenience of Open Source Technologies

To achieve speed, flexibility and scalability, the best-of-breed data discovery platforms are being architected around open source technologies for the data ingestion layer and data transformation tools. Open source offers three unique and powerful advantages that should not be overlooked in the rapidly evolving space of data discovery. First, there are minimal license costs; second, thanks to the vibrant open source community, there is constant collaboration and innovation enabling organizations to keep pace with changing business needs; and third, the open source environment has matured over the last 20 years to enable dependable, low-cost support.

Smart organizations are not stopping there. They are shopping for technology partners who provide such platforms with ready-to-use self-service infrastructure that is modular and scalable with a provision to add or reduce nodes. While data discovery platforms are widely perceived as being essential to large businesses, they are an evolving technology. This is a good reason to therefore opt for the platform in a cloud-based, analytics-as-a-service model. With zero CAPEX commitment, organizations of every size can control costs using a pay-per-use OPEX model.

 

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