Moving into the Mainstream – The Continued Evolution of Big Data & IoT

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This year I attended Strata + Hadoop World in New York, and I would have to say that one of the benefits of the conference is that it’s a great forum for customers to see the applicability of big data and disruptive technologies to real-world problems. It creates awareness of the fact that core platform modernization can be done to scale. It’s no longer a science experiment or hobby, and people finally see it as an important component of IT investments. Originally viewed as disruptive, open-source software such as Apache Hadoop is now becoming increasingly mainstream, and central to helping customers navigate their modern data strategy, as it provides the framework for scalable, distributed computing and data storage.

Over the last three to four years, Deloitte has seen opportunities in a few key areas that we articulate as distinct scope of services in our Analytics & Information Management practice: big data, IoT, and under the IoT banner, cognitive. Of course, we leverage these technologies differently, and have formed strategic alliances with Hadoop-based software companies such as Cloudera, which delivers a modern platform for data management and analytics, to solve client-specific problems.

For example, our initial focus in big data was driven by the client and was consumer-focused since so much of what was measured prior was extrapolation of sample population sets. Big data broke the traditional data paradigm by enabling businesses to personalize the customer experience at the consumer level given processing of large volumes of data become a not so difficult problem to solve.  Many of our big data projects initially were in relation to targeted advertising and identifying consumer behavior across channels (i.e. website to in-store) to deliver targeted marketing campaigns. But we’re not limited to the customer experience, we can solve a whole host of problems, it all depends on our client’s industry and what issues they need to address. For instance, we’re doing things in big data in regards to regulatory and risk. We have large financial services and enterprise banking clients who are required to go through millions of transactions to report capital accuracy, market risk or liquidity risk to regulators. We’ve built financial solutions with the underpinnings of big data technology to help our clients meet these requirements.

Now when it comes to IoT, that’s a huge area of opportunity, and it’s truly an area where the manifestation of an ecosystem comes into place. It’s very different than big data because most organizations think of big data as typically static; it’s generated in logs that live and die where they’ve originated because there is no connectivity. With IoT, data is given mobility. We have to help our clients learn how to understand, leverage and benefit from the connected data from devices, machinery and every other physical asset that produced data sets to date.

One example of the potential that IoT brings to the market is our work with a medical device manufacturer. Our client wanted to optimize chronic care disease management for patients with implanted devices. We’ve worked with the client to enable remote data transmission from the patient’s pacemaker. It communicates over low-frequency Bluetooth and contacts the provider through a handset. With the IoT-enabled device, the doctor will be able to get real-time information to help better determine treatment protocols.

While these next-generation applications of IoT are exciting, I’m still committed to helping my clients get started on their big data journey and understanding why it’s critical to their business. And I’m starting to see this awareness when I talk to my clients. While the market for big data and IoT is not mature yet, it’s getting there. I can see that clients are going to be ready to engage in more projects and transformation programs that are strategic instead of one-off initiatives. Events like Strata Hadoop help move this maturity along and continue to elevate the visibility and importance of IT in business outcomes and showcase the opportunities available in the big data world.


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As used in this document, “Deloitte” means Deloitte Consulting LLP and its subsidiaries. Please see www.deloitte.com/us/about for a detailed description of the legal structure of Deloitte LLP and its subsidiaries. Certain services may not be available to attest clients under the rules and regulations of public accounting.

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This post is by Ashish Verma, US Leader, Big Data and IoT Analytics, Deloitte Consulting LLP. Ashish is a Managing Director with Deloitte Consulting LLP and has more than 18 years of management consulting experience helping Fortune 100 companies build solutions that focus on addressing complex business problems related to realizing the value of information assets within an enterprise. He leads Deloitte Consulting LLP’s Big Data and IoT Analytics practice, building offerings and accelerators to enhance business processes and effectiveness.

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