message from SAS Canada
Hello insights subscribers!
A new year has
arrived, and with it a host of predictions, promises and prognostications
– both personal and professional. For SAS customers, this can mean
anything from increasing return on investment to leveraging their
existing assets for business advantage and everything in between. For
myself, it’s fitting into last year’s pants – I suppose we all have our challenges.
The one phrase that I’ve read over and over while
trying to get a handle on what the year to come means for the technology
industry is “big data.” The concept is simple: data,
data, everywhere is not being leveraged as a viable source of
insight. In this
article, Deloitte indicates that while the knowledge of the untapped
power of big data has always existed, it’s only recently that the tools
required to handle the analysis of petabytes of information have come
into their own.
Some authors have offered a technology-based
perspective on the tools which will help make sense of the mass of
unstructured data that organizations have been safeguarding in data
warehouses and data marts for a rainy day. SAS, for instance, recently
launched a high-performance
computing application that will allow massive jobs to run in a
fraction of the time it would have taken previously. This allows for
faster, more accurate information and near-real-time decision making as
well as the ability to run and re-run fraud , risk and profitability
models for greater accuracy and to take into account many different
variables and contingencies. The importance of this to an organization,
as well as to the individual consumer, is well-stated here
by SAS Canada’s own Wes Gill.
Some authors have taken to video
interviews with industry experts to try and define exactly how big
data will affect business in 2012. Such is the interest in big data that
live events are even focusing exclusively on this broad topic. Our own
Laura Lima Wilson recently ran a large Conquer
Big Data event at the base of the CN Tower here in Toronto focused on
the challenges – and opportunities – that this concept will engender in
almost every organization.
This particular issue of insights will deal with this extensively; we have pointed to many
news articles that should help explain the concept of big data, as well
as a feature post which puts our own field marketing experts under a
spotlight with their predictions and observations of what this concept
means to the industries they support. It remains a hot topic on the AllAnalytics
website as well as the Knowledge
One of the principal sources of big data is the
enormous volume of information generated by various social media outlets.
Sentiment can now be accurately measured through Twitter, Facebook and
LinkedIn conversations. Brand reputation management is a viable strategy
through blogs, discussion forums and video offerings on YouTube. For
organizations that have the right strategy and the right tools to listen,
the potential insight to be gained on brand perception, threats and
opportunities for growth is staggering. Further,
the benefit to the customer is tremendous. Whether it’s gaining new
insight into a brand, receiving instant customer support and accessing
valuable content, or growing one’s knowledge in a safe, unthreatening
environment, the potential payback is tangible.
Speaking of unstructured data, we’re looking
forward to continuing the early success of the SAS Canada Community. I always
mention to all new members who join that it’s a great place to grow both
your SAS knowledge and your SAS network – and in 2012, I expect this
statement to ring more true than ever. We have more and more SAS Canada
thought leaders and industry experts who have committed to offering you,
the SAS user, great content in this space. All
the contributors to the big data article in this issue will be leading
industry discussion groups focused on offering content, connections and
discussions about specific challenges within their areas of expertise.
I’m looking forward to big things in 2012 in this space, so if you
haven’t yet joined, consider doing so now.
In closing, I hope that each and every one of you
finds 2012 to be a year of challenges met and goals exceeded – whether
that means conquering big data or fitting into that old pair of pants.