Instrumented Interconnecteds Intelligent
April, 15th 2013

Harriet Fryman, Director of Market Strategy, Business Analytics, IBM

Harriet Fryman, Director of Market Strategy, Business Analytics, IBM

By Harriet Fryman

Big Data and analytics are to the IT industry what action hero movies are to the motion picture business. Each is hugely popular, lucrative and has its own subcultures. In fact, organizations that are not thinking of how to leverage Big Data and analytics today could be left in the dust tomorrow by organizational heroes that do take action.

IDC published a recent report that forecasts the Big Data market will reach $16.9 billion by 2015, up from $3.2 billion in 2010, seven times the estimated growth rate for the overall information technology marketplace. Organizations in all industries are under increased pressure to extract new insights and optimize business processes from this data explosion, and transform this overload of information from a threat into an opportunity.

Ultimately, it comes down to being an “action hero” inside of your organization – someone who leverages the power of analytics on Big Data and leads the way for their organization’s success.

Every day decisions are made in every part of an organization, and by every employee, looking to accomplish their own goals and gain their own perspectives. Each decision has the opportunity to increase the value for the consumer, and increase revenue for the organization. So why are more than 70 percent of organizations still not using Big Data and analytics for decision making?

Perhaps the action hero effect has not taken hold of them yet! So how do they find a way to save the day? Consider these three steps to get started:

• Create a plan – focus on the business problem first, not the data.

• Mobilize resources – understand the skills available to do the analysis and the tools needed to capture all forms of data.

• Put Big Data into action – embedding the results of your analysis directly into the business process. After all, it’s what you do with Big Data that actually matters.

Once these steps are taken, these next-level actions should be explored and considered:

• The quick analysis of Big Data to find what is relevant, and the ability to fold those findings together with current data sources like social media and sensors.

• The storage of Big Data to be used as a way to build predictive models to reduce churn and identify fraud.

• Delivering the results of the analysis directly to front line workers, such as call center agents, who can then be guided to make the right decisions for each customer interaction.

These initiatives help turn agents into action heroes, instead of simply call takers. They become relationship builders, sales agents and a profit center with the ability to address customer needs, up-sell, cross-sell, and increase customer lifetime value.

Take for instance IBM client Telerx – by harnessing analytics technologies and adopting a more holistic approach to multi-channel customer interactions, Telerx has moved into a new space: consumer intelligence and research. The analysis of unstructured text data from social networks and call center notes, as well as near real-time transcriptions of customer phone calls, enables Telerx to offer its clients new insights into consumer behavior.

Embedding analytics services into its contact center offerings puts Telerx in a position to gain significant competitive advantage over rival service providers. Social media analysis helps predict “hot topics,” enabling Telerx to set appropriate staffing levels and brief its contact center teams before customers start calling.

Organizations on a Smarter Planet are applying analytics to listen and learn from what people are saying and what sensors are telling them. The ability to rapidly identify patterns, spot unusual activity, and use information to inform every part of the organization are all important competitive advantages.

Action hero movies all represent one very important thing – triumph. So I encourage everyone to be the action hero, and lead the charge in big data and analytics success in their own organization.


I’ll be continuing the conversation on Facebook on Friday, April 19th at 8:00 a.m. EDT. To join the chat, please visit:

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