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INFOTECH: Big Data Analytics - Deriving Value from Big Data


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The drive by most organisations to better understand their business performance has led to “big data” becoming a much-debated topic. Discussions range from what big data actually is, to identifying who can help organisations to understand and address this evolving business scenario.

Charl Joubert, Datacentrix Business Solutions divisional MD, explains if you really want the lowdown on what’s happening in your business, you need large volumes of highly detailed data.

“If you truly want to see something you’ve never seen before, it helps to access data that’s never been tapped for business intelligence (BI) or analytics,” he explains. “Some of the unused data, from sensors, devices, third parties, Web applications and social media, will be foreign to you. Some big data sources feed data unceasingly in real time.

“Put all of that together, and it becomes clear that big data is not just about giant data volumes; it’s also about an extraordinary diversity of data types, delivered at various speeds and frequencies. This is better known as the three Vs - volume, velocity and variety. Some research companies, like Gartner, have added another dimension, called complexity.”

Andrew Graham a senior analyst for AIIM corroborates with this view, saying: “By combining analytics with massive aggregations of unstructured and structured information, insights and value can be unearthed that will create innovate opportunities for businesses.”

Joubert explains that big data is either the problem or the mechanism that CIOs are using to address more fundamental challenges. “Management is asking how it can help an organisation become analytics-driven in order to reduce costs, increase revenues and improve competitiveness. Or more simply, how do they extract value from all this information that is accumulating‘

“It has become obvious that data managers, analysts and line of business users all need to work together to leverage big data insights that can make a real difference increasing aspects like revenue and customer satisfaction.”

He states that, as a provider of high performing and secure ICT solutions, Datacentrix finds itself in a distinctive position of having the partnerships, the hardware, the software and, finally, the people to address all aspects of big data with its clients.

“Datacentrix has solid working relationships with the companies that are at the forefront of big data analytics. We are leveraging these partnerships, specifically those with Microsoft, HP and AIIM, to put together an event that will help local clients understand what big data is, and further, give them access and exposure to the experts and industry analysts.

“Datacentrix is one of our committed partners that have invested time and money in developing the data management business with us. We are very excited about this new aspect of our service offering as it allows us to give our clients practical assistance in utilising our appliances effectively to address their big data issues, innovation and planning,” says Eugene de Souza, HP-Microsoft Infra2Apps Portfolio Country Lead at HP South Africa.

“Big data is a reality that is becoming a hot topic for our clients and it excites us that a partner like Datacentrix has invested to be a front runner in this space. With the latest version of Microsoft SQL Server just released, you can already see Microsoft’s alignment to addressing a number of the big data dimensions,” says Frikkie Bosch, product marketing manager – Application Platform at Microsoft South Africa.

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