Until recently, the most well-known examples of companies leveraging big data for competitive advantage came from an elite club of high-profile online businesses with deep technical expertise, such as Facebook, Google, and Netflix. But now, big data analytics is going mainstream. Established companies in sectors as diverse as agriculture, industrial services, and consumer packaged goods are harnessing big data to grow their traditional businesses and achieve competitive advantage.
“The ability to analyze big data — massive quantities of data — is important,” says Filippo Passerini, CIO and President of Global Business Services at packaged-goods giant Procter & Gamble. “I believe, in our industry, the differentiator will be the ability to predict what is going to happen in the business. It is very possible to detect those key indicators early on, or roll out a predictive model that will allow us to be more accurate in the way we go to market with a new product.” (2)
Large companies that rely heavily on big data analysis include consumer packaged goods giant Procter & Gamble, which accumulates big data from a multitude of sources worldwide such as retail locations, online ads, and ERP systems. P&G also analyzes customer sentiment in social media for each of its brands — in real time. P&G analytics systems look for exceptions and trends in the data, and provide forward-looking projections and scenarios; the company’s executives and managers access the information in visual decisionsupport systems on desktops and in immersive environments within specialized “Business Sphere” executive decision rooms.
United Parcel Service of America has built its business on big data — managing millions of package transactions and movements. Now, UPS is also gathering data from sensors in over 46,000 delivery trucks, including speed, direction, braking, and drivetrain performance. The company is using the data not only to monitor daily performance, but also to increase efficiency through a major redesign of UPS drivers’ route structures, including the planned future ability to reconfigure drivers’ pickups and drop-offs in real time.
To ensure your data is protected and can’t be accessed by unauthorized users, there must be strict security at the infrastructure (including physical data center security and network security), data (including governance), and insight layers.
As the pace of business change accelerates, the ability to gain insights quickly from big data has become critical. But that accelerating business change demands agility: the ability to scale up, rapidly, as POCs go to production, and to scale down, instantly, when a potentially innovative big data experiment gets relegated to the dust bin.
And it also demands security, at all levels of the big data stack, to keep corporate and customer data safe and to keep intruders out of your insights.
For all these reasons, cloud computing and big data have been called a match made in heaven. Big data projects based in the cloud or on managed services enable companies to accelerate time-to-insight by rapidly acquiring and scaling big data infrastructure that previously had to be built from scratch. This empowers companies to speed big data solution deployment, reduce technology risk, and more quickly deliver business value.
CenturyLink Big Data Foundation Services combine CenturyLink’s enterprise-grade global infrastructure and network connectivity with proven big data software in a fully hosted and managed service. Our big data solutions allow your organization to realize game-changing insights, operate with unprecedented speed and agility, and gain a true competitive edge. A longtime leader in managed hosting, CenturyLink stores and manages critical data for a wide range of enterprise clients, including five of the top 14 securities firms.
CenturyLink Business delivers innovative managed services for global businesses on virtual, dedicated and colocation platforms. It is a global leader in cloud infrastructure and hosted IT solutions for enterprise customers. Parent company CenturyLink, Inc. is the third largest telecommunications company in the United States, and empowers CenturyLink Business with its high-quality advanced fiber optic network. Headquartered in Monroe, LA, CenturyLink is an S&P 500 company and is included among the Fortune 500 list of America’s largest corporations.