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Insights You Weren’t Expecting from Big Data

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Many organizations often don’t realize how much value there might be in all of the content in their various information sources. But those organizations that do recognize this potential are generating insights from their own internal big data and advanced analytics techniques. In addition, they are turning those insights into increased revenue, improved knowledge worker productivity, and lower costs.

Here are several “aha” moments that could change the way you think about big data in your organization:

  • A major pharmaceutical manufacturer generated millions of dollars in new revenue by combining the latest research with previous research and drug studies, which introduced a new use and market for an existing drug.
  • A global investment bank is generating significant new revenue using information access and analysis technologies as the hub of a knowledge management system, collecting, locating, sharing, synthesizing, and analyzing information across the globe around topics such as stocks and bonds, company analyses, investment reports, internal email, and even internal social media.
  • A global research and development (R&D) company is using text analytics and information access and analysis technologies to automatically identify and extract skills and areas of expertise for knowledge workers based on the content they have created. This skills data is used by employees to find internal collaborators across the globe, yielding a significant increase in productivity and innovation.
  • A provider of OEM service and repair information to the professional automotive service and collision industries is using text analytics technology to identify, extract, classify, and organize parts and repair information from all car manufacturers, yielding an improvement of almost 5,000 percent in data ingestion and processing. This has enabled the company to expand into new geographic regions (with multi-language support), improve its pricing model, and provide new insights to clients, which in turn enables them to improve inventory management or speed service delivery.
  • An insurance company is able to respond to claims after a disaster much more quickly and with far fewer employees than its competitors using automated technologies for monitoring social media, phone calls, email, and text messages, providing a superior level of service at a fraction of the cost.
  • A global consulting services firm is using an interactive semantic model that can investigate compliance violations by linking to and aggregating various client account activity such as Web logs, email, phone archives, IM messages, and other sources to uncover potential infringements of regulatory requirements as well as internal policy and procedure violations.
  • A healthcare company specializing in pain management can now look at performance by an individual healthcare provider and create models for fully loaded cost per patient. Appointments scheduling and procedure data can be combined to recommend staffing levels. The marketing group is also able to access patient referral source data, formerly available only by having IT generate a custom query.

All of the organizations cited above recognize and are exploiting all of their information, both structured and unstructured. This content is locked in a variety of formats, locations, and applications made up of separate repositories that don't talk to each other. Combining this content and gleaning insights from it should be the goal of every organization but very few are actually getting all the value they should be. Some organizations lack the appropriate technology to so do; others lack relevant skills; yet others are simply not aware of the “art of possible” when it comes to accessing and analyzing the combination of structured and unstructured content.

Taking advantage of your own big data can yield immediate and tangible benefits to your organization. Insights and actionable knowledge are the lifeblood of many organizations, and leveraging all of your information silos can improve productivity, help contain costs, increase innovation, and increase revenue by using what you already own, but are not making use of.

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