Today, leading Big Data companies such as Walmart can for instance access every receipt issued since 1999. This allows Walmart detailed insights into customer behaviour and leads to adapted positioning for goods in one example: The company now positions beer next to baby nappies since fathers shopping for nappies are more likely to drink at home than go to the pub.
One famous example of how insightful data can be, was the case of a 16 year old girl shopping at Walmart. She was sent coupons for baby related articles, e.g. nappies and baby nutrition, since her shopping behaviour indicated that she was pregnant. The father angrily called the store and was complaining that his daughter was sent these vouchers since she is just 16 and it would be highly unlikely that she was pregnant. Two weeks later, the father rang the store again and apologized since his daughter told him that she was actually pregnant.
These are examples of structured data – data that is tagged and machine interpretable.
The next big leap forward will be the move from structured to unstructured data. One necessary requirement for this will be the creation of intelligent programs which can recognize and interpret unstructured data.
Overall, the trend Big Data is rather a mindset change than a technology induced trend. Strategy4IT is helping you to convert your IT related unstructured data into top-level information visualisations and thereby helping CIOs around the world to identify areas of improvement.
In IT strategy we are often working with unstructured information. We recognise that unstructured information can still be a valuable asset to the orgaisation if processed, visualised and kept up to date in a maintainable way. To this end, we have put our approach into a tool that helps you to create top-level visualisation of your IT systems. These visualisations are ranging from Cost Heatmaps, Licence Maps, Complexity Maps to Support Maps.
The most important action is to take the first step whether you are buying beer or nappies, make the mental leap and adjust your mindset to think how you can leverage technologies ability to structure the unstructured.
The data aware mindset will develop over time and be added to your unique skill set.