Breakout Session Recap | Big Data–Get a competitive edge

This NICSA News Guest Blog feature was written by Chuck Gallant, Managing Director, BNY Mellon. This post is a recap from the BNY Mellon sponsored breakout session: “Big Data-Get a Competitive Edge” at the 2015 NICSA Strategic Leadership Forum.

HiResThere is a lot to understand about Big Data. It is the latest in buzzwords and a product of the information and digital age in which we are collecting, storing and analyzing more and more information each and every day. What is it? How can it be implemented and used effectively? Understanding the below five points is the first step in preparing a strategic Big Data plan.

  1. When defining Big Data look at the three V’s of Velocity, Variety and Volume. Velocity refers to the speed at which data is being produced. Variety refers to the types of data being captured. Volume refers to the amount of data being produced and captured. Also of importance is the term complexity, referring to the understanding of data, its attributes and source.
  2. Descriptive vs. prescriptive analytics – Big Data attempts to enable prescriptive analytics, where collected data is analyzed to make recommendations, predict outcomes and change directions. Whereas descriptive analytics answers known, predefined, complex questions, prescriptive analytics attempts to provide that information proactively, giving us more intuitive insight and predictability to make decisions. Because of prescriptive analytics, firms employing Big Data solutions are 5 times more likely to have better, faster decision making abilities.
  3. The amount, complexity and frequency of data will continue to grow as cloud access expands. This is especially true for large enterprise wide firms. It is anticipated that the industry will grow more than fivefold to over $50 billion by 2017 and approach $100 billion by end of 2018.
  4.  Most Big Data efforts are started and driven by the line of business. IT provides support for the array of new technologies and tools that exist behind the scenes of big data implementations. A successful big data implementation strategy will require not only the use of technologies, but a disciplined approach to training and mentoring staff on proper data analysis, a management commitment to success, and an organization-wide focus on the value of data and its potential.
  5. Financial Services firms rank third highest in overall investment in Big Data. The analysis of data is critical to driving its usefulness in any organization. Firms are employing data to use prescriptive analytics in the areas of investment analytics, compliance and regulatory reporting, customer segmentation, risk management, personalized product and service offerings, sales and distribution and operational and quality metrics.

Big Data has the potential to help firms gain a competitive edge. It can impact our selling, financial and servicing organizations in a tremendous way if we prepare to not only implement technologies, but adopt a structured, data-centric approach towards addressing our business challenges and opportunities.

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