October Insights From Five Companies Winning With Big Data Analytics

Harnessing the power of Big Data, and finding the right set of tools that will enable your business to efficiently generate value from it comes with its challenges. Successfully utilising the power of technology starts with a shift in culture, adopting a data-driven mindset and clearly identifying the business challenges you are looking to address with data analytics.

“The biggest challenge of making the evolution from a knowing culture to a learning culture—from a culture that largely depends on heuristics in decision making to a culture that is much more objective and data driven and embraces the power of data and technology—is really not the cost. Initially, it largely ends up being imagination and inertia.” – Murli Buluswar: Chief Science Officer at AIG

Businesses can use information derived from data to increase their efficiency and success in many ways, like automating processes and gaining in-depth knowledge of target markets. This month, we’ve gained insights from five businesses who are front-runners in the data analytics game.

 

#1 – AMAZON

“The next time you contact the Amazon help desk with a query, don’t be surprised when the employee on the other end already has most of the pertinent information about you on hand. This allows for a faster, more efficient customer service experience that doesn’t include having to spell out your name three times.” Eleanor O’Neill: Writer at ICAS.

Amazon, the online retail giant, has mastered the art of ecommerce. By embracing cutting edge technology to analyse and make use of the massive amount of customer data they have access to, they have become the pros of supply chain optimisation, price optimisation and fraud detection. With sophisticated advertising algorithms, and leveraging their
Amazon Elastic MapReduce platform for machine learning, the company has built an empire by providing goods to their customers faster and cheaper than their competitors, as well as exceptional customer service.

“Amazon.com Inc is a leader in collecting, storing, processing and analysing personal information from you and every other customer as a means of determining how customers are spending their money. The company uses predictive analytics for targeted marketing to increase customer satisfaction and build company loyalty.” – Jennifer Wills: Owner of JDW Writing.

 

#2 – GOOGLE

“Google is of course an expert in Big Data. They have developed many open source tools and technologies that are widely used in the big data ecosystem. Using many different Big Data techniques, it is capable of sifting through millions of websites and petabytes of data and to give you the right answer within milliseconds. How do they do that?” – Datafloq.

Aside from their impressive search engine, google’s strategy of mining data and placing targeted ads in front of customers who have used free google products before has been a key factor in their success, allowing them to track customers based on their behavior and interests. Google’s service offering to businesses looking to get their ads in front of the right customers has been a huge revenue builder for the organisation.

“Google has not only significantly influenced the way we can now analyse Big Data (think MapReduce, BigQuery, etc.) – but they probably are more responsible than anyone else for making it part of our everyday lives. I believe that many of the innovative things Google is doing today, most companies will do in years to come. Although these days Google’s Big Data innovation goes well beyond basic search, it’s still their core business.” – Bernard Marr: Founder & CEO of Bernard Marr & Co.

 

#3 – NETFLIX

With a user base of approximately 99 million, data scientists at Netflix collect and analyse a colossal amount of behavioral data to reveal insights for decision-making in a way that differentiates them from competitors like Stan and Amazon Prime Video.

“From predicting the kind of content that would garner high viewership to recommending content to specific users, Netflix uses data everywhere. In fact, since its days of being a DVD-by-mail service, Netflix placed prime importance on collecting user data and building a recommendation system. Cinematch was the first algorithm behind their recommendation system. After launching their streaming media service in 2007, it took them 6 years to collect enough data to predict the sure-shot success of their first original production ‘House of Cards’. Data accumulated from numerous sources influence decisions regarding shows. Not only user data, Netflix also observe data generated by piracy sites. “Prison Break” is a hit show on that front.” – Toai Chowdhury: Author at upX Academy.

 

#4 – AMERICAN EXPRESS

“The AMEX team now comprises 800 data scientists globally. American Express claims the lowest fraud loss rate on their records, and among the lowest in the industry. The company states that benefits from fraud improvement alone have paid for their investments in Big Data.” – Randy Bean: CEO & Founder of NewVantage Partners LLC.

AMEX has improved their identification of customer attrition using IBM’s SPSS predictive analytics modelling software. The model delivers a list of prospective customers at highest risk, which allows the organisation to communicate with methods such as direct marketing and follow-up calls.

“American Express increasingly is moving away from focusing on its traditional function of providing credit for consumers and providing merchant services for processing transactions, and toward actually making the connection between consumers and the businesses that want to reach them. The company is using its vast data flows to develop apps that can connect a cardholder with products or services. One app looks at past purchase data and then recommends restaurants in the area that the user is likely to enjoy.” – Bernard Marr: Founder & CEO of Bernard Marr & Co.

 

#5 – APPLE

“With the help of Big Data Analytics and Hadoop cloud, Apple has positioned itself as not just one of the best tech companies around, but one of the best companies period. That reign will likely continue into the future as Apple utilises Big Data in new and exciting ways.” – Jonathan Buckley: Founder & Principal of The Artesian Network LLC.

Apple’s partnership with enterprise experts like Cisco, Deloitte, IBM and SAP has impacted their success as a powerful presence in the mobile market, with millions of loyal customers around the world. The wide range of apps they have released for banking, insurance, travel and entertainment; and the launch of wearable devices like the iWatch, Apple is collecting more customer data than ever before.

“As well as positioning itself as an ‘enabler’ of Big Data in other people’s lives, it has also been put to use in its own internal systems. Apple has often been secretive about the processes behind its traditionally greatest strength – product design. However it is known that Big Data also plays a part here. Data is collected about how, when and where its products – Smart phones, tablets, computers and now watches – are used, to determine what new features should be added, or how the way they are operated can be tweaked to provide the most comfortable and logical user experience.” – Bernard Marr: Founder & CEO of Bernard Marr & Co.

 

 

For more resources, please see below:

10 Companies That Are Using Big Data

How Companies Are Using Big Data & Analytics

6 Ways To Win In Business With Big Data Analytics

16 Case Studies of Companies Proving ROI of Big Data

 

Google

Wow! Big Data At Google

How Google Applies Big Data To Know You

What Would Google Do? Leveraging Data Analytics To Grow Your Organisation

 

Apple

How Apple Is Using Big Data

How Apple Uses Big Data To Drive Business Success

 

Amazon

Amazon EMR

How Amazon Is Leveraging Big Data

7 Ways Amazon Uses Big Data To Stalk You

How Amazon Became The World’s Largest Online Retailer

 

American Express

Inside American Express’ Big Data Journey

American Express Charges Into The World of Big Data

How Predictive Analytics Is Tackling Customer Attrition At American Express

 

Netflix

Big Data: How Netflix Uses It To Drive Business Success

How Netflix Uses Big Data Analytics To Ensure Success

Key Players In Automation & Artificial Intelligence

“Innovations in digitisation, analytics, artificial intelligence, and automation are creating performance and productivity opportunities for business and the economy.” – McKinsey & Company.

With the rise of artificial intelligence and automation, we’ve seen a huge shift in how many jobs are being done in industries like agriculture, logistics, manufacturing and much more. As technology continues to advance at a rapid place, the number of machines performing data analysis and cognitive tasks are multiplying.

We’ve rounded up a few of the most popular automation and artificial intelligence platforms today.

 

#1 – DeepMind Technologies

Created to push boundaries, the founders behind DeepMind, a world leader in AI research, believe that this will be one of the most beneficial scientific advances ever made. Acquired by Google in 2014 and backed by investors like Elon Musk, Peter Thiel and Li Ka-shing, the company’s mission is to ‘solve intelligence.’

“I think we’re going to need artificial assistance to make the breakthroughs that society wants,” Hassabis says. “Climate, economics, disease — they’re just tremendously complicated interacting systems. It’s just hard for humans to analyse all that data and make sense of it. And we might have to confront the possibility that there’s a limit to what human experts might understand. AI-assisted science will help the discovery process.” – Demis Hassabis: Founder & CEO of DeepMind.

 

#2 – IBM Automation With Watson

With Watson, companies are able to get actionable insights through the combination of automation and analytics. It claims to deliver more value to customers and make your employees more productive by delivering a better balance between cost and performance.

“IBM Automation With Watson has the capability to understand natural language, think, learn and get smarter over time. This level of automation involves more than just replacing redundant tasks with software, It’s capabilities that are enabled by analytics, cloud, mobile and cognitive computing.” – IBM.

 

#3 – Amazon Echo

This artificially intelligent bluetooth speaker can make your house a whole lot smarter. Now available for purchase to the public, this voice- controlled assistant is being called ‘the future of home automation.’

“Amazon Echo is a hands-free speaker controlled with your voice. It features a personal assistant called Alexa, who will perform various tasks for you and control various systems. There are seven microphones within Echo, all of which feature enhanced noise cancellation and far field voice recognition, meaning you can ask Alexa a question from any direction, even when playing music, and she should still hear you.” – Britta O’Boyle: Features Editor at Pocket-lint.

Got any questions about AI & Machine Learning? Check out Context’s partnership with Amazon Web Services.

 

#4 – Google Home

Google Home, powered by Google Assistant, launched in Australia earlier this year as Amazon Echo’s rival in the home automation game; But which voice assistant you prefer is based on your priorities, what services you’re already subscribed to and whether or not they would be compatible with the device.

“While Amazon may have a head start, Google’s been doing AI and voice commands for years, so both devices are pretty powerful already. Of course, Amazon has already proven that it will add new updates to the Echo regularly, but we’ll have to wait and see if Google will keep up that same pace.” – Eric Ravenscraft: Writer at Lifehacker Australia.

 

 

 

For more resources, please see below:

Google Home

DeepMind: Inside Google’s Super-Brain

IBM Shaping The Future Of Cognitive Automation

What’s Now And Next In Analytics, AI & Automation

The Age Of Analytics: Competing In A Data-Driven World

IBM Watson takes on IT Services With New Automation Platform

Amazon Echo Is The First Artificial Intelligence You’ll Want At Home

Smart Home Assistant Showdown: Amazon Echo Vs. Google Home

Amazon Echo: What Can Alexa Do & What Services Are Compatible?

Amazon Echo Vs. Google Home: Which Voice Controlled Speaker Is Best For You?

Blockchain Technology Securing The Internet Of Things

“If we are most likely to understand the Internet of Things (IoT) by describing how it relates to objects we use every day, such as a toaster or bicycles, we miss the big picture: a futuristic global network of connected devices, transforming industrial and business processes in a way that we cannot yet comprehend.” – Rhian Lewis: Co-Founder of Count My Crypto.

This revolutionary concept of IoT is already well under way, and the multitude of smart devices connected to it could transform businesses, homes and cities. But without the right security strategy, the more devices we connect, the more problems we encounter.

 

SECURITY

“The intersection between IoT and Blockchain is a fascinating area. Gartner has predicted there will be 20.4 bln connected devices by 2020 with smaller, more efficient sensors and microprocessors offering the potential for use cases of which we can barely dream today. Decentralised architectures mitigate against single points of failure while providing standard protocols for devices to discover each other and communicate.” – The Cointelegraph.

With security concerns on the rise, blockchain technology is not only a safety measure, it’s a cost-saving and error-reducing opportunity.

“Blockchain’s potential to transform the way we think about IoT security is actually a side effect of an even greater opportunity: to rethink problems with online identity that have been festering for decades.” – The Wall Street Journal.

Blockchain, as a way to structure data, is allowing entities to share a digital ledger across a network of computers without the need for a central authority. No single party has the ability to tamper with records. Encryption enables the entities to share a common infrastructure for database retention. The blockchain database is not stored in one location, meaning that records are truly public and can be verified easily. With no centralised version of this information, a hacker can’t corrupt it.

“Although IoT devices are miracles of engineering, they are still underpowered compared to the hardware powering successful blockchains.” – Forbes.

 

IMPLEMENTING BLOCKCHAIN TECHNOLOGY INTO YOUR BUSINESS

“The distributed ledger technology that started with bitcoin is rapidly becoming a crowdsourced system for all types of verification. Could it replace notary publics, manual vote recounts, and the way banks manage transactions?” – strategy-business.com.

Blockchain is being used by businesses for a myriad of things like accepting payments, hiring and even paying wages with Bitwage.

“The clearest and easiest way to start using blockchain tech is to start accepting Bitcoin – or another cryptocurrency – for payments. These payments are fine for peer-to-peer transactions, but they work even better for small businesses.” – Capterra.

Bitcoin is a worldwide cryptocurrency and digital payment system. Units of currency are regulated using encryption techniques to verify the transfer of funds, operating independently of a central bank. Bitcoin is received, stored, and sent using software known as a Bitcoin Wallet. Getting started with bitcoin is relatively easy. By simply downloading the Bitcoin Wallet of your choice, you can send and receive bitcoin.

“This distributed ledger — the first blockchain ledger ever created was for bitcoin, and it set the pattern for others — represents the most innovative and potentially influential aspect of the technology. Participants interact with one another using pseudonyms, and their real identities are encrypted. The ledger uses public-key encryption, which is virtually impossible to break, because a message can be unlocked only when a public and a private element (the latter held only by the recipient) are linked.” – strategy-business.com.

Although controversial, businesses around the world are seeing the potential that this technology has to not only how we handle payments, but transform how we do business in every way, from how stock exchanges operate, to re-shaping capital markets, to smart contracts. But the global blockchain revolution won’t happen overnight.

“Today, you have to assemble a lot of pieces by hand if you want to develop a blockchain platform, just like how, in 1995 or 1996, if you wanted to publish a website, you had to work with html. You had a page editor where you would hand write the html page almost line by line. No one does that anymore. Now you can create a web page without touching a line of code with Squarespace, WordPress, Tumblr, etc. That’s where we need to go.” – Laura Shin: Senior Editor at Forbes.

 

 

For more resources, please see below:

 

The Business Blockchain

Bitcoin – The Internet Of Money

A Strategist’s Guide To Blockchain

4 Critical Security Challenges Facing IoT

What Blockchain Is And What It Can Do

3 Ways To Use Blockchain In Your Business This Year

How Blockchain Could Revolutionise The Internet Of Think

Could Blockchain Technology Help You Find Better Employees?

Looking To Integrate Blockchain Into Your Business? Here’s How

What Is Blockchain Technology? A Step-By-Step Guide For Beginners

Are We Creating Insecure Internet Of Things (IoT)? Security Challenges & Concerns

Blockchain: Wall Street’s Most Game-Changing Technology Advance Since The Internet