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Unstructured data: Can you crack the code?

Joe Lipscombe | June 12, 2013
As with the universe-load of unstructured data, CIOs want to break it down, lay it out, and extract from it some kind of business value. But how should they do so?

A  simple motive for code cracking has always been the benefits of what lies beneath the complexity. As with the universe-load of unstructured data, CIOs want to break it down, lay it out, and extract from it some kind of business value. The power of Big Data has been highly talked about for some time, but it appears as though, if this issue of CNME is anything to go by, the time is finally upon us when organisations are ready to tackle it head on.

"Every day, we create two and half quintillion bytes of data — so much that 90 percent of the data in the world today has been created in the last two years alone. Eighty percent of that data is unstructured," says Ahmed Auda, Business Unit Executive, IBM Middle East Software Group.

"By 2020, the growth of Internet-connected devices and sensors is projected to reach 50 billion — a prediction that supports IDC's estimate that the total volume of the digital universe, comprised of 90 percent unstructured data and calculated at 1.8 zettabytes in 2011, will increase by a factor of 50 in 2020," adds George DeBono, General Manager, Middle East, Turkey and Africa, Red Hat.

Deciphering the data
With the many statistics and jargon surrounding Big Data now widely known, companies are beginning to take note. The question is still whether or not they can find value in investing. Allen Mitchell, Senior Technical Account Manager, MENA, CommVault Systems, says they can.

"Most companies, organisations and vendors are aware that continued data growth will make a big difference in the coming years," he states. "With this, more and more organisations are willing to explore the strategic potential of Big Data solutions. Senior executives should begin considering how their companies manage, and begin to drive business benefit from Big Data. The companies that succeed in turning Big Data into actionable information will have a clear competitive advantage over companies that are aware of it but don't know what to do about it."

Karthik Krishnamurthy, Vice President, Enterprise Information Management, Cognizant, believes that to be true — stating that ROI is instant.

"Companies can start benefitting from information as soon as they provide meaning to the data and put action behind the meaning. With social platforms, sensors, and 'everything Internet', the dots are just waiting to be connected. To harness the information and capitalise on the advantages on a scalable basis, they have to think of information on an enterprise-wise level and in a global environment," he says.

Bringing data back home
Globally, Big Data solutions have been brandished for some time. Microsoft has announced solutions in real-time data analytics, Oracle is never one to miss the boat on a hyped trend, and SAP loves to take any opportunity to flaunt its HANA platform. That doesn't even scratch the surface — but what's the impression of Big Data solutions here in the Middle East?


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