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Bill McGloin


Bill McGloin - Computacenter

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Is big data really here?

13 June 2012  |  2453 views  |  1

One of my earlier blog posts discussed Big Data in 2012 and its forecasted popularity throughout the year. The post explored how companies have the opportunity to take advantage of the market intelligence available to them, and if they choose to do so, how it will position them as leading the way for other sectors to follow. Now, comfortably sat in Q2, it triggered the question ‘have we really seen Big Data yet?’


Unlike other sectors, the financial market has had years of tackling colossal chunks of information. There’s no denying that Big Data is penetrating the financial marketplace, but it very much feels as though Big Data is still taking baby steps compared to what we could see in the next three to four years – and that’s when it will start to be both a challenge and a real opportunity.


The risk for the financial sector is prematurely assuming that we are in the stages of Big Data already, and as a result, analysing terabytes of data that won’t be of any real use to them. That’s not to say that it isn’t on its way. When Big Data finally arrives, its management will be difficult and organisations must plan for this. New solutions and niche players are emerging to start to help address the problem and to provide analysis and real business benefit, and with the major players aligning their strategies we see the market maturing. So, whilst the tools are emerging to cope with the flood of data the next problem may be having the staff in place to analyse and understand the information being provided. We may be able to cope with the volume of Big Data, deriving value from it requires a new, and different, mindset.


So, have predictions for this year been right thus far? The question mark that lingers over whether we’ve seen big data or not yet will remain until sectors, wider than that of the financial industry, is coping with information overload. Whatever the outcome, it is safe to say that the data already being processed is certainly a challenge.


TagsPost-trade & ops

Comments: (1)

Ketharaman Swaminathan
Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune | 15 June, 2012, 17:31

ATM and POS transactions, system logs, error messages, card spends - big data of this nature has been around for a long time in financial services. Added to that, there's now social media mentions and many other sources of big data. Vendors of big data solutions - e.g. Twitter Sentiment analysis - need to demonstrate to financial institutions that their technologies can be used to store and process big data to deliver actionable insights rather than lead to "analysis-paralysis". It's also incumbent upon them to show how their technologies can filter out the "big noise" that's inevitably a part of big data. Continuing with the same Twitter Sentiment analysis example, less than 10% of tweets about a company / brand have relevance, so the Twitter Sentiment analysis solution must be capable of not only figuring out the 90% but also discarding them so that they don't clog the system resources. 

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