Making Big Sense Out of Tomorrow

“Yesterday is not ours to recover, but tomorrow is ours to win or lose.” – Lyndon B. Johnson

Crystal BallGoodbye crystal ball, farewell 8-ball and hello fact-based predictive decision-making. As mere mortals, our gut instinct carries a fair amount of clout in determining tomorrow’s actions. However, it’s time to engage in a more insightful, less gut-wrenching method of predicting the future.

We are in an era where analytics are driving highly successful outcomes. Think Moneyball – where the Oakland A’s transformed baseball forever by applying the principles of math and statistics to the selection of players. Or Nate Silver, the number-crunching founder of ESPN’s FiveThirtyEight blog who, among other things, accurately predicted the winner of all 50 states and the District of Columbia in the 2012 United States Presidential Election.

With the possibility of game-changing predictive power at their fingertips, businesses are looking at ways to influence and improve the outcomes of today’s decisions. Instead of looking in the rear view mirror for historical inspiration, business leaders are adopting a forward-looking perspective, using analytics to unlock the value of their data, and in particular, big data – the vast pools of historic and real-time customer data accumulating at break-neck speed.

Predictive analytics have inserted themselves into our lives. Whether we’re reading, listening to music, surfing the Web, or simply staying in touch with friends on Facebook or email, our choices and actions are being tracked, captured and amassed for future analysis. Love it or hate it, our devices are proactively dishing up our own custom wish lists of products and services.

Even bigger than big data are the questions businesses must formulate in order to identify the market trends, target customers, and customized products and services that can lead to more effective marketing, improved operational efficiency, a sharper competitive edge, and new revenue opportunities

As data becomes the currency for negotiatiating the future, its value is incalculable and its ever-increasing size, speed and variety present new challenges for data protection. In order to stay ahead of the big data juggernaut, businesses must invest in fast, scalable, adaptable protection strategies that can keep pace with their data – wherever it is and whatever happens.

We’re just seeing the tip of the iceberg, but big data analytics are driving a paradigm shift in prediction that will ultimately be able to tell us what’s going to happen in many aspects of our lives as they become deeply and invisibly embedded in the world’s devices.

“Fortune, good night; smile once more, turn thy wheel.” – Shakespeare

About the Author: Lesley MacDonald