What’s the buzz about big data and unstructured data analytics really about? Should you be worried about it? Why does it matter?

Imagine the world of billions of connected devices—ranging from PCs, smartphones, iPads etc., every second of every day these devices are generating oceans of complex data and the variety and complexity generated is at a higher speed than organisations have ever faced before.

Organisations have long been able to analyse structured data, but the industry shift is the explosion of unstructured data which exists in sources outside the domain of the organisation’s main systems and databases. However, unstructured data is more varied in nature and comes in many formats, including text, documents, images, video, social media and more, and it’s growing at an unprecedented rate.

According to a 2011 IDC study, unstructured data will account for 90 percent of all data created in the next decade. As a new, relatively untapped source of insight, unstructured data analytics can reveal important interrelationships that were previously difficult or impossible to determine. This process for combining unstructured and structured data together is a new dynamic.

For Financial services, big data analytics is changing from technology that enabled analysis of structured data towards capabilities that enable in-depth analysis of the ever-growing unstructured data. Business Intelligence and analytics now represent top technology priorities for the industry, but there is a disconnect between data availability and the ability to derive business outcome insights from analysis. The industry needs to shift investment focus more to advanced analytic tools that help them to connect with big data to enable optimised decisions.

And with this ability for advanced analytic capability underpinned by fast evolving technologies, there are huge untapped end user business opportunities across the organisation. From risk and governance, counterparty risk, Basel 3, MiFID II, product and service insight, 360 customer views to telephony data recording and detection and prevention of fraud.

So why does big data matter? Because it is fast becoming the primary source of business innovation – for smarter business moves, more efficient operations, higher profits and happy, happy customers.