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Big Data analytics for the people


By Joy King, VP, product marketing and field engagement, Big Data Platform, Hewlett Packard Enterprise

The adoption of Big Data analytics by virtually every industry across the globe is picking up steam. Like the proverbial downhill snowball, ideas that seemed bleeding edge only a year or two ago are cropping up in unexpected places—and in delightfully innovative ways.

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Turns out, in analytics, one good idea begets another. And as I learned while talking to the Big Data analytics experts who joined me on a recent 2016 Big Data Predictions Panel, these good ideas are trickling down even to industries with decidedly low-tech reputations. 

“Retail has always been at the cutting edge, and they’re very innovative,” said panelist Colin Mahony, SVP and general manager, Big Data Platform, Hewlett Packard Enterprise. “But I would challenge you to show me an industry that is not threatened if they do not use analytics.”

“Farming is one of the most high-tech occupations on the planet right now. They’ve been using IoT equipment for a lot longer than it has been done in a lot of other industries. Farmers don’t drive tractors: it’s a GPS system navigating the tractor and optimizing the amount of water and everything else.”


A boon for transportation

Which industry will undergo the biggest transformation in 2016? Panelists agreed that, by and large, the one to watch this year is the public sector. Governments are taking a page not only from retail, but also from data-driven leaders such as Google, Uber, and the Game Show Network, to push out new services that make them more efficient and responsive to the citizenry.

“The public sector is going to be moving very rapidly,” said panelist Dana Gardner, president and principal analyst, Interarbor Solutions. Government agencies will be gathering every possible bit of data from their own infrastructure and their own activities to use in new ways and to add more efficiency and improve public safety. This includes everything from revising traffic patterns to taxation and fee collection to managing the back office.

In Auckland, New Zealand, the transportation agency is using video data from 1,800 closed-circuit cameras to respond immediately to changes in train, car, and ship traffic patterns. By analyzing the live feeds and interpreting them in real time, Auckland Transport is making it safer and less wasteful for the people of Auckland to travel. And they are using the same data for longer-term pattern analysis to inform projects such as revisions to traffic signals and shipping lanes.

While much of what governments do is reimagined innovation from other industries, the public sector is actually leading the way when it comes to a major new Big Data analytics trend: collaboration. Agencies and municipalities that achieve success with one type of analytics are also making it easy for similar agencies to leverage their infrastructure-as-a-service to make similar achievements.

“Once you’ve established a pattern of success, it’s very easy to scale and extend that, and in doing so you can cut your own costs,” said Gardner.

joy king headshot.pngJoy King is VP, product marketing and field engagement, Big Data Platform, at Hewlett Packard Enterprise. Read “5 Big Data analytics trends that can benefit your business” to learn about other ways Big Data analytics will change business for the better in the year ahead.



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