According to Forbes, a comprehensive "big data" strategy is vital because without one your business will miss out on at least 71 million dollars a year! To me this means your "big data" strategy should be more focused on how best to derive value from your data instead of focusing ONLY on how to store large amounts of data.
SAS has always excelled at deriving value from data, regardless of its size or source, through the process of changing that data into information based on advanced analytics. In fact, SAS High-Performance Analytics was engineered to address "big data" from an analytics perspective.
To better understand this process of changing data into information one must first recognize that SAS brings more to the table than just advanced analytics (although that is a core overall strength integrated throughout our offerings). Let's briefly discuss the following three topics:
- Data management vs. information management
- Statistics vs. advanced analytics
- Big data vs. high-performance analytics
Data management vs. information management
Data management is important; storing and securing data and making it available for applications and reporting is obviously important for any business.
Information management involves the processes you put into place that allow you to derive value out of all the data you store. Information management should not just be about storing all your data in one location or in one form. It has to do with enabling your analysts to make use of the data available across your organization regardless of its location and, perhaps even more importantly, how to integrate analytic insight back into your operational systems. Be aware that preparing data for advanced analytics has different implications than preparing it for standard query and reporting needs. Learn more about information management.
Statistics vs. advanced analytics
Businesses have spent billions on data management over the years and, as we struggle to store more and more data (aka big data), businesses want and need to derive value out of this data. This is why analytics is so hot, because deriving value out of data happens when you apply the power of advanced analytics (not just statistics) to data and deliver that analytic-based insight to decision makers in a timely manner. Statistics provides quantitative data points, like an average or a median, that show up in business reports.
Advanced analytics provides more than operational statistics. It provides insight into what will happen tomorrow or next week or provide you with a confidence level of what is the most likely situation to occur. Advanced analytics is the key to being a more data-driven organization and making better decisions because you have more valuable information NOT just data to help your decision makers make better decisions. To see how you can explain the difference between analytics and statistics see my previous post from December about explaining the value of analytics.
Big data vs. high-performance analytics
In general, big data tends to focus on how best to store very large amounts of data. High-performance analytics applies advanced analytics to big data to derive the business value everyone is looking for in order to stay ahead of the competition.
In conclusion, your information management strategy should be based on how your organization can best support advanced analytic processes across all lines of business. So, information management is related to data management while statistics are related to advanced analytics and high-performance analytics is related to big data.
They are all different, but interconnected and it is important to keep the differences and the interconnections in mind as you try to architect processes and the IT infrastructure to support these processes across your organization. No one understands advanced analytics and the information management processes that enable them better than SAS. SAS has over 37 years of experience working with our customers providing this type of guidance and knowledge and helping solve business problems. To see how SAS can help you and your organization, I recommend this assessment.
Learn more from SAS "big data" experts in this special 32-page report on high-performance analytics.