Big Data from a Corporate Perspective

There are four primary reasons for using Big Data techniques as a Big Business:

  1. Cost reduction
  2. Time reduction
  3. New business offerings based on existing data
  4. Better support for business decision-making 

If any of these are important to you then contact Alephant to have an exploratory chat about what you're looking for. We want to help you achieve your goals.


Most corporates have been dealing with large amounts of data for years. Dealing with, not utilising - Gartner calls this Dark Data. Storing vast amounts of (dark) data has been a compliance necessity, not a mission critical priority.

Keeping the cost of this compliance down is the first step:

"The cost of storing one terabyte for a year was $37,000 [?26,000] for a traditional relational database, $5,000 [?3,500] for a database appliance, and only $2,000 [?1,400] for a Hadoop cluster." - NewVantage Partners.

Such large amounts of data, and the expensive storage solutions devised to house it aren't Big Data, as it's now understood, it's data-warehousing. Big Data is the point at which value is derived from the data itself: drilling down, data-mining, processing the raw, crude data - and using the end product to fuel the business.

Of course, it's not just the amount of data, large corporations often have distinct business units within their own infrastructure, data silos, and legacy systems, which present both technological and operational barriers to change. Alephant applies a (No) Big Bang Theory of change management, for which the separateness of business units can actually be an advantage. Individual business units can be prioritised for change on the basis of the ease with which the change can be implemented. This "ease" can be due to low technological barriers or high employee expertise. More often than not, though, it is just because the team are tearing their hair out due to the short-comings of the systems that are to be replaced - making them great ambassadors for change in the business, once the change has been adopted.

"The adoption of big data technology is reminiscent of other technology adoption cycles such as customer relationship management (CRM) ... implementing a CRM system will not benefit the company until the users of the system are satisfied with the quality of the customer data and are properly trained to make best use of customer data to improve customer service and increase sales. The implementation of the technology must be coupled with a strategy to employ that technology for business benefit." -


For more on Big Data from a corporate perspective, see:

'Big Data in Big Companies', by Thomas H. Davenport & Jill Dych?, International Institute for Analytics.

'Overcoming Legacy Processes to Achieve Big Data Success' by Randy Bean, NewVantage Partners