Real-time analysis to support go-to-market strategy can really bring value to companies in today’s dynamic world, where the old cliches that “time is money” and “information is power” now ring truer than ever.
The old days – when data from structured bases such as Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) were the only and most powerful sources for information – are gone. We are living in a world where the amount of data generated not only by structured bases but also from non-structured bases such as social media (Twitter and Facebook, among others) is huge and continues growing exponentially thanks mainly to the advent of mobility and cloud computing, which allow people to generate more data in a faster way. Companies able to work with this data to generate insightful information will therefore gain a competitive edge in the market.
This phenomenon known as Big Data, based on the concept of volume, variety and velocity of data generated, has created a new dynamic in the market not only for enterprises but also for society.
Although Big Data is still an incipient market, companies are starting to reach out for more information related to this concept and how it can leverage their business. Brazil represents the largest market in Latin America, where Big Data reached almost US$300 million in 2012 and it is forecast to grow around 25% per year until 2017.
Brazil’s oil and gas industry is one segment where Big Data is beginning to play an important role. It is used to deal with the large volume of data generated by seismic studies, industrial automation systems and operational research based on mathematical analysis, all of which requires infrastructure that can reach petabytes. In addition, new discoveries related to pre-salt will also increase the demand for Big Data in order to leverage qualified information that will help companies become more efficient.
Retail and E-Commerce is another key vertical segment in Brazil where Big Data is taking off. Knowledge of customers is extremely valuable in these fields and can result in increased revenues. Through Big Data, Brazilian retailers are able to track and establish individual profiles of their customers in order to offer them the most appropriate products. Furthermore, Big Data enables them to manage and analyze a huge amount of data in real time, which permits the execution of specific commercial activities to achieve sales goals.
Public Sector Use
Away from the private sector, Brazil has also begun to witness government initiatives that use Big Data for social good, such as the recent US$14 million project intended to make Rio de Janeiro a role model in terms of data-driven municipal management.
IBM has developed an Operational Center for the government of Rio de Janeiro, incorporating hardware, software and analytical capabilities. A virtual trading platform in the Operational Center acts as a clearinghouse for the collection and distribution of data, integrating incoming information by phone, radio, e-mail and text messages.
When city officials enter the system, they can carry information from the scene of an accident, for example, and see how many ambulances were sent to the scene. They are also able to analyze historical information in order to identify the locations that tend to produce more car accidents.
Cisco and Samsung are also involved in this project. Cisco provided network infrastructure and a video conferencing system that links the operations center to the mayor’s house, while Samsung provided the digital displays.