By Michael Baker
Technical Solutions Manager
Big data has long promised to revolutionize the way we make decisions in our organizations; but the amounts of data generated in today’s world have far outstripped most expectations. Even large organizations with significant budgets dedicated to big data projects struggle with the associated IT and personnel costs required to keep up.
In talking with our customers, there are two primary trends we see:
- They need more efficient cost management and insight for the data they are collecting.
- They want to find a way to leverage cognitive and predictive analytics without having to build their own in-house capability.
Data as a Service
Because of the growing volume and variety of data generated in today’s digital world, DaaS was developed to be cost-efficient, agile and allow you to focus on selling your company’s products rather than sourcing, managing and activating your data.
DaaS is a fast-growing new market. In the last couple of years, many new businesses began offering cloud-based big data subscription services to help companies solve their data dilemmas. Essentially, the DaaS provider’s goal is to apply insights gleaned from analyzing a company’s data in order to drive their business growth.
Typical services DaaS providers offer include:
- Supplying the data (if needed)
- Collecting data and storage
- Providing analytical tools and dashboards for probing the data
- Performing data analyses
- Producing reports
- Offering consulting and advisory services
For companies that would rather focus on sales than managing their big data, DaaS companies are a great option for outsourcing and virtualizing a company’s analytics activities. Here’s why.
- No upfront costs. With DaaS, all of the nuts and bolts are out of sight, out of mind, so you can concentrate on your business.
- No data infrastructure needed. A DaaS provider has everything set up and ready to go. All you have to do is rent the use of their cloud-based storage and analytics engines and just pay for the time you use them or the amount of data crunched.
- Security is ensured. DaaS providers are responsible for the cost of compliance and data protection.
- Get your data when you need it. DaaS providers offer subscription-based services where data can be accessed and analyzed on a case-by-case basis. This results in lower overall costs for obtaining the data that you need.
- They are the experts. Since this is their only focus, DaaS providers keep up with all the latest changes in big data technologies and practices, and continually upgrade their systems and security procedures – so you don’t have to.
- Customers can be profiled. Many DaaS providers are now offering profiling services that apply analytics to data to more effectively profile consumers and provide potential leads to their customers.
Cognition as a Service
Cognitive, machine learning and a myriad of other terms are also flooding the market place today. These new technologies promise a near-term future where computers are more intelligent than ever before and are able to draw insights from massive data sets. As with big data, customers desiring this level of advanced intelligence have also struggled with the investment required to collect and manage the needed levels of data and build out the technology to explore those data sets.
Interestingly, the levels of cognitive processing often only apply to a small piece of any given solution. For example, a logistics company may pull in data from multiple sources like 311 systems, GoogleMaps, etc., to determine best routes and times for deliveries. These are readily available and cheap. If they want to do predictive analytics on something like weather patterns to anticipate impact, it is extremely expensive to gather weather data over time. To solve these types of problems, services are emerging that allow individual queries of cognitive systems that are managed by third-party companies. End-users then only have to pay for the service on a transactional basis, making it easy to monetize. There is big potential in this market in areas like consumer prediction, malware proliferation, weather prediction and others.
Analyzing your data in this day and age is critical and usually brings positive change to any company that takes it seriously. And with DaaS and CaaS providers, big data projects, which were previously considered out of reach, are now viable and within reach.
If you would like to learn more about big data solutions, contact your Arrow representative today!