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As companies launch their Digital Transformation initiatives, they naturally start to accumulate massive amounts of data. Properly analyzing the data and quickly extracting key insights is essential to realizing maximum gains from digital transformation initiatives. “A digital transformation isn’t complete unless a business adopts big data.” Big data insights equip companies for business agility and for operating as a strong competitive force. Yet big data represents a new category that presents companies with a new set of organizational and technology challenges.

First the good news

By embracing Big Data, companies will benefit in two main areas. They will:

  1. discover valuable insights to optimize the customer experience, further engage customers, and create new products and services.

  2. identify areas where they can streamline operations and improve the efficiency of the organization – a key driver for digital transformation initiatives.

According to a recent Accenture study, 58% of respondents confirmed that big data technologies are key to helping their business remain competitive in a digital economy.

Now the reality

Big data challenges companies in two areas:

  1. organizational challenges – it’s highly unlikely any company will already have data engineers, data analysts or data scientists within their ranks. There’s also the matter of getting access to and managing the data, along with data governance.

  2. technology challenges – lack of understanding of big data technologies was identified as the #1 challenge in a December 2016 Data Science and Big Data Best Practices Report by TDWI Research. Lack of enterprise data architecture and concern over big data security and privacy took the #2 and #3 spots in that order.

Striking a balance and accelerating value creation. Embrace the learning curve of big data and/or outsource for existing skill and knowledge.

Data is only data until it is organized and analyzed for insights that can be converted into actions that improve the customer experience with personalization and new products and services. Accelerating discovery and application of data insights is a key source of motivation for companies to outsource data engineering, business analysis and data science. Of the more than 1,000 respondents to the Accenture study mentioned earlier, nine out of 10 senior technology, data, marketing, operations and financial leaders from these companies viewed big data as an important part of their digital transformation.

Expertise in Big Data

big data future pyramid2Big data is a specific area of expertise that requires specific functional knowledge, software know-how, and the professional skill level of data science. First Line Software is a company that has built up deep expertise across all three categories of the Big Data “pyramid” of skills – retrieving data, reporting on data, and extracting insights to make predictions and identify trends.This includes having our own data scientists on staff. 

Our team of Big Data experts has accumulated extensive experience from completing big data projects for innovative startups and complex enterprise client across multiple industries. This expertise equips us for accelerating the discovery and application of big data insights our clients require to operate as formidable competitors and leaders in their industries. The following are highlights from select First Line Big Data projects that contributed to our clients achieving their Digital Transformation initiatives:

  • Monitoring and analytics system processes and stores data collected via Wi-Fi sensors – tracking foot traffic and sales at individual retail locations. More than 28 million unique mac-addresses collected over two years and over 5 billion stored records.

  • Railroad fare optimization engine processes an average of 2 million requests per day with overall xml data processing of more than 10 GB of data. Phase 2 - Corporate data warehouse system uses IBM hardware and software with an average OLAP cube of 600 MB.

  • Tax reporting processing system facilitates electronic delivery of tax reporting. Optimized system manages peak loads of 12,000 users and processing 150,000 tax forms in a single day.

  • Automated operational analysis of discrepancies in tax declarations and on-line reporting in interactive mode. The current amount of stored data is 2TB with the potential of expanding to 20 TB and over 6 billion invoices to be processed annually.

If your company is ready to fast-track the introduction of Big Data capabilities into your business operations, contact us for a conversation about how First Line’s expertise and expertise can provide you with a competitive advantage.

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