What’s the big deal about Big Data?
By Clarice Africa20 Aug 2012
Cutting-edge data mapping technology is the lifeline that will save the financial services sector from drowning in the abyss that is Big Data, according to a leading financial specialist.
Esri Australia Principal Consultant Gary Johnson said Geographic Information System (GIS) technology, which is already used widely by insurers in risk assessment, is the silver bullet for banks and other financial services institutions (FSI) that are struggling to make use of the mountains of customer and business data accumulated in recent years.
“For decades, FSIs have systematically mined customer and business data pools to strengthen their operations and grow market share,” Mr Johnson said.
“With the explosion of the digital age, however, these pools of data have grown into vast, almost unmanageable information reservoirs – and seen the birth of the Big Data phenomenon.
“IBM estimates that more than 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are created each day, while 90 per cent of data currently held has been created in the last two years alone.
“Using traditional data mining techniques to deal with Big Data is like trying to carve your way into Fort Knox with a spoon – most likely, you’ll expend a lot of time and energy, but barely scratch the surface.
“GIS technology – with its pedigree in land management and defence operations – offers business leaders the best opportunity to leverage this information.”
Mr Johnson said GIS technology provides a common visual representation that transcends language, education and, most importantly, department boundaries.
“As it currently stands, the majority of an FSIs company data is siloed within different business systems, meaning it’s inconsistent in its format as well as being hosted across a mix of platforms,” Mr Johnson said.
“GIS technology’s power comes from its ability to normalise and sort data in a unique way, allowing company info to be delivered via a single, all-encompassing view.
“It’s an insight few financial institutions can afford to disregard – as it shows exactly where the big deal is in Big Data.”