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The data intelligence arms race- marketing moves into hyperdrive

September 27, 2010


There was a time when data was a passive thing; it took time to look through and by the time you had done the analysis, the world had moved on and it was kind of outdated. With advances in computing power, we are now about to enter a new phase in which data, instead of being a component of dusty old reports, is the new gold of business advantage. The faster and more powerful your computer and servers, the faster it can crunch and analyze the data and therefore the quicker you have real information you can act on.

If you take data from multiple sources, look for correlations and key patterns that takes computing power, but if your computers are fast enough, and they are now, you have something.

Here’s John Webster on Cnet talking about IBM’s recent acquisition of Netezza.

beyond the short-term tactical aspect of the Netezza acquisition is a
longer-term positioning of IBM that is far more significant. Traditional
data warehousing–as a relatively slow process that depends on
reiterative data extract, transform, and load (ETL) processes–is
essentially dead. What customers are now looking for is speed to
information. These appliances offer the ability to parse large data sets
from multiple sources in a nontraditional ETL way and to produce
information in real or near real time.

That, in itself, is a big opportunity. But it gets even bigger when one
looks at what these systems are doing as compared with the human brain.
Our brains take in massive streams of sensory data and makes the
necessary correlations that allow us to know where we are, what we’re
doing, and ultimately what we’re thinking–all in real time. That’s the
same kind of data processing these appliances are after.

It’s not often we get to watch a new style of computing emerge and grow.
But that’s what I think we’re now seeing. Or…translating what I’ve
said so far into analyst-speak: these appliances represent the emergence
a new computing paradigm that mimics the functioning of the human
brain. Driving the race to the business analytics appliance
opportunity is a race to real-time, competitive business information.”

So we’ve are close to a stage where real-time business intelligence meets real-time behavioral understanding and the net result is something akin to a force of nature.

This is going to turn the marketing world upside down and make digital much more important than it currently is.

Posted by Ed Cotton

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