Innovation Through Data – 5 take-aways from the event in Dubai


Did you know that there is only one seven-star hotel in the world? Although I have lived in Dubai for over a year now, I visited this hotel, the Burj al Arab, for the first time four weeks ago. I joined the SAS Middle East team for an event on Innovation Through Data. The event took place on the 27th floor of this amazing sail-like hotel, and I took advantage of the occasion to sneak into a neighboring room for a magnificent view of the Persian Gulf and Palm Jumeirah.

Of courAnne_Belderse, I still managed to tweet about the sessions, and can now provide you with five take-aways from the event.

Innovation through experimentation

The cost of storing data has now become less than the cost of making the decision to throw it away. Attitudes to analytics have therefore changed. A new approach has emerged: the opportunity to experiment to create new insights through analysis of existing and new data types. Add in bigger data volumes, and you start to achieve data-driven insights for businesses. This in turn hugely increases the value for business outcomes.

Innovation tolerates failures

Experimentation drives innovation. New ideas need to be tested. To be able to innovate from data, we need to know that we can keep on experimenting. But failure is inherent to experimenting. Innovation tolerates failures, but can traditional enterprises accept this? Can we handle experiments that do not achieve the desired outcomes, indeed, some of which have negative outcomes? If we want to innovate, we need to accept failure. SAS Big Data Innovation Lab allows you to do exactly that.

 Data is the foundation, discovery is necessary and deployment is key

Cristina Conti points out that “information about a transaction is more valuable than the transaction itself”. Customer behaviors drive the need for innovation, but new technologies provide the tools.

Data is the foundation for innovation, regardless of complexity or pace. But then the crucial question is what we do with the data. Just dive into the raw material and be creative to discover new actionable insights and business value? Visualization and exploration can help answer many questions. But we cannot afford to stop there. We also need to operationalize the results. Better decisions come from analytics used seamlessly in business.

Analytics of Things, the real value in IoT

The IoT is a huge source of data. It provides streaming data for analytics to help make better decisions in real time. Sensors are everywhere, and therefore so is data. By capturing data from devices, you can tap directly into data streams at source. With SAS, you can automatically determine which data to act on, store, or ignore. Converged data platforms like Hadoop and in-memory processing enable you to analyze the data as soon as it comes in. Then, of course, you can take action in real time, generating value for decisions at scale.

Hadoop matters for innovation

Hadoop is often used as a data platform to support IT transformation. It is also a useful component of the next generation of Business Analytics, to support innovative use cases. These two uses are not often seen together, but combining them enables the ‘data-to-decision’ lifecycle. This allows you to:

  • Access and manage data;
  • Interactively explore and visualize data quickly;
  • Uncover patterns and trends (Analyze & Model);
  • Manage and analyze real time data, and automatically deploy and score analytical models.

If you want to know more about fostering innovation through data, you may be interested in this white paper, which focuses mainly on streaming analytics and real-time decision making. If you’re more interested in the Burj al Arab, look it up online or even visit. Don’t forget to send me a tweet if you do!


About Author

Anne Belder

Sr. Digital Marketing Specialist

Anne Belder has worked at SAS since February 2013, where she specializes in Digital Marketing and Account Based Marketing in the Benelux.

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