Big Data is Already Here

A recent article in an issue of Financial Management from the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants struck a chord as it looked to answer the question about how we value data. Look at any CFO survey and this topic is at the forefront of today’s financial leaders.

Recently Unilever CFO Jean Marc Huet mentioned in an interview his company’s aspiration to be able to model profitability right down to a customer/consumer level incorporating different data from a plethora of sources, including social media. Think about that for a minute. A global multinational company with thousands of products, customers, routes to market where understanding customer profitability would be a challenge in itself! Throw in a hundred million consumers and thousands of social media sources and you’re quickly looking at a mountain of data to mine.

With CIMA quoting year-on-year increases of data within organisations as high as 59%, business will need to have a strategic vision as to how they plan to tackle big data, what business analytics tools they will invest in and how they use insights gleaned to drive decision making and competitive advantage.