May 19, 2020

Five Big Data Trends To Watch For In 2015

Big Data
4 min
Five Big Data Trends To Watch For In 2015

Used properly and analysed effectively, big data can give organisations customer and market insights that can be the difference between market leadership and business failure. Teradata has identified five key trends that are likely to emerge in 2015.

1.        Connection analytics 

Connection analytics understands the way people behave and how they are connected to each other. Businesses are increasingly interested in this information to further promote their products and services to target audiences. This insight can also highlight customer service issues. For example, people often converse with each other about their experiences with businesses on social media platforms. 

Although social network analysis isn’t new, interest in understanding consumer behaviour on these platforms is still constantly growing, particularly in understanding who consumers are conversing with. As an analytics problem, the complexity of connections grows exponentially and as a result the ability to process and interpret results at any scale has been hindered. With the explosion of mobile and digital data, this problem is further exacerbated but recent technological advances are quickly catching this wave. 

2.        The growth of the ‘discovery zone’

Advanced and sophisticated analytics lets organisations understand customers’ behaviour and how they interact with each other via platforms such as social media. But the speed of data access and analysis is critical: companies need to move fast to retain the competitive advantage that comes from having near real-time information. 

This need will see a continued growth in the trend towards creating a ‘discovery zone’, a data research and development hub of analytics. This is a dedicated area, preferably integrated with the data warehouse, where a number of data analysts can load and test new data and analytic models. Some organisations, such as Westpac, have seen significant success using this approach. 

3.        Improved access to big data

Accessibility to big data is still an issue for many organisations. Many companies have fallen into the trap of dumping data into systems that have either very basic access mechanisms that business users struggle to use, or there is an unnecessary handoff to IT to build the analytic model. It is critical for companies to have a business sponsor and a business driver for new analytics to ensure that accessibility is addressed. 

The iterative ‘sample, test and learn’ nature of analytic modelling exacerbates this issue. Currently many businesses are outsourcing rather than training internal staff to access and analyse data. This will see the rise of analytics consultancies. Organisations will also start to address the issue by focusing on tools and technologies that let users access the new functional capabilities of big data analytics.

4.        More efficient, automated data management and processing

Data lakes are large repositories of data that is in many different forms, including structured, unstructured, video, text and more. However, if a data lake is seen as a dumping ground for data and is not continuously managed, it can become a data swamp. 

As organisations come to grips with how to handle big data more effectively, they will look to better redesign and rebuild some data ingestion and integration tasks. This is likely to result in an increased uptake of data integration optimisation services to remove some of the unnecessary overhead and costs of data replication and processes. 

Organisations are also likely to gain a better understanding of the relative value of data, not just the cost and monetisation. This will let them make use of premium storage and processing capabilities such as in-memory computing. 

To gain further efficiencies, organisations will look beyond the one-size-fits-all approach to find data solutions capable of intelligently storing and processing data on multiple media within one platform, without the need for human intervention.

5.        The use of apps to gain customer insight

It’s widely acknowledged that the use of mobile technology is a continuing trend in IT. From an analytics perspective the use of mobile presents a novel and hitherto underutilised source of data for insight. Data is increasingly collected by organisations via mobile apps, which can track individual customers’ behaviours and purchasing patterns. Organisations can then rapidly use this analysis to understand if the App they deliver is providing an effective service and feed that back into the development process. 

This individual information isn’t freely available via the web as it’s hard to know who is really behind the computer.  The mobile trend will continue to gain momentum as businesses realise how valuable the customer data is that they can obtain from apps. 

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Jun 10, 2021

Why Alibaba Cloud is doubling down in Southeast Asia

Kate Birch
4 min
Amid fierce competition, Alibaba announces expansion of its cloud business in Southeast Asia, with plans to upskill developers and launch more datacenters

Alibaba has announced expansion of its cloud business within Southeast Asia, with the introduction of a digital upskilling programme for locals alongside acceleration of its data centre openings.

This doubling down of its cloud business in Southeast Asia comes as the company faces stiff competition at home in China from rivals including Pinduoduo Inc and Tencent and seeks to up its game in a region considered to be the fastest-growing in cloud adoption to compete with leading global cloud providers AWS, Google and Microsoft.

Alibaba Cloud, the cloud computing arm of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba and second biggest revenue driver after its core e-commerce business, finally turned profitable for the first time in the December 2020 following 11 years of operation, thanks largely to the pandemic which has spurred businesses and consumers to get online.

Southeast Asia growing demand for cloud

In 2020, there was a noticeable increase in interest towards cloud in SE Asia, with the population embracing digital transformation during the pandemic and SMEs across the region showing increased demand for cloud computing.

Such demand has led to the expectation that Southeast Asia is now the fastest-growing adopter of cloud computing with the cloud market expected to reach US$40.32bn in Southeast Asia by 2025 according to IDC.

And there are plenty of players vying for a slice of the cloud pie. While AWS, the cloud arm of Amazon, is the leading player in Southeast Asia (and across all of APAC apart from China), Microsoft and Google are the next two most dominant players in Southeast Asia with Alibaba coming in fourth.

“There is no doubt that during the past year we have seen the acceleration of digital transformation efforts across all industries,” explains Ahmed Mazhari, President, Microsoft Asia. “Asia now accounts for 60% of the world’s growth and is leading the global recovery with the digitalization of business models and economies. Cloud will continue to be a core foundation empowering the realization of Asia’s ambitions, enabling co-innovation across industries, government and community, to drive inclusive societal progress.”

Alibaba’s commitment to Southeast Asia

At its annual Alibaba Cloud Summit, the Chinese company announced Project AsiaForward, an initiative designed to upskill local developers, small-to-medium-sized companies and connect businesses with venture capital. Alibaba said it would set aside US$1bn over the next three years to develop digital skills in the region, with the aim of helping to develop 100,000 developers and to help grow 100,000 tech startups.

But that’s not all. The company, which recently opened its third data centre in Indonesia, serving customers with offerings across database, security, network, machine learning and data analytics services, also announced it would unveil its first data centre in the Philippines by the end of 2021.

Furthermore, that it would establish its first international innovation centre, located in Malaysia, offering a one-stop shop platform for Malaysian SMEs, startups and developers to innovate in emerging technologies.

“We are seeing a strong demand for cloud-native technologies in emerging verticals across the region, from e-commerce and logistics platforms to FinTech and online entertainment. As the leading cloud service provider and trusted partner in APAC, we are committed to bettering the region’s cloud ecosystem and enhancing its digital infrastructure,” says Jeff Zhang, President, Alibaba Cloud Intelligence.

What other cloud providers are pledging in the region

This pledge by Alibaba to upskill both individuals and businesses follows Microsoft’s announcement in April that it was planning to upskill Malaysia’s population and would invest US$1bn over the next five years to build a new data centre centre in Malaysia.

This is the latest in a long line of pledges to the region by the US tech giant, which is fast accelerating the growth of its cloud datacenter footprint in Asia, expanding form seven 11 markets, and recently adding three new markets across Asia – Malaysia, Indonesia and Taiwan. Back in February, it announced plans to establish its first datacenter region in Indonesia and to skill an additional 3 million Indonesians to achieve its goal of empowering over 24 million Indonesians by the end of 2021.

And recent research by IDC shows that Microsoft’s most recent datacenter expansions in Malaysia, Indonesia and Taiwan alone are set to generate more than US$21bn in new revenues and will create 100,000 new jobs in the next four years.

Also last month, Tencent announced it has launched internet data centres in Bangkok, Hong Kong, Tokyo to add to its second availability zone opened in Korea last year and plans to add an internet data center in Indonesia, and Google has also been pushing into the enterprise space in Southeast Asia for several years now.

Expanding data centers allows cloud providers to boost their capacity in certain countries or regions.



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