IDC: Big data Hype Still Here, But Maturity Beckons

Chris Kanaracus March 14, 2013
IDC: Big data Hype Still Here, But Maturity Beckons
Few tech industry buzzwords have gotten as vigorous a workout as "big data," but while the hype remains plentiful, it is starting to give way to real-life successes as well as formal ways companies can develop big data strategies, according to a number of IDC analysts.

Few tech industry buzzwords have gotten as vigorous a workout as "big data," but while the hype remains plentiful, it is starting to give way to real-life successes as well as formal ways companies can develop big data strategies, according to a number of IDC analysts.

"We're at this period now where there's certainly a lot of hype, a lot of promise," said IDC analyst Dan Vesset during a panel session at the research firm's Directions 2013 conference in Boston on Wednesday. "The question is what's reality, and what can and should companies do in the near and short term?"

IDC, which is owned by IDG News Service's parent company International Data Group, defines big data as information-driven, tactical decision-making resulting in new economic value, derived from large data volumes from a wide variety of sources, Vesset said.

The first point is crucial, according to Vesset.

"We can be installing all kinds of technology but the important thing is to improve the decision-making," Vesset said. "You can have the greatest Hadoop deployment in the world but it's not going to be enough," he added, referring to the popular open-source data-processing framework that is synonymous with the big data movement.

Progressive is one example of a company using big data projects to transform their business, said IDC analyst Michael Versace, who presented with Vesset. Using detailed information about customers' driving habits, the insurer has created a usage-based model that defines a policy's price down to the individual, he said.

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