Big Data: A Tsunami of Information

Big Data: A Tsunami of Information

With Vincenzo Esposito Vinzi and Nicolas Glady

Today, it’s clear that Big Data represents a huge opportunity for businesses. But it’s an opportunity that is constantly evolving and growing in volume. Therefore, seizing this particular opportunity represents an important challenge for any business. According to our panel of experts – Vincenzo Esposito Vinzi, professor of Statistics and Decision Sciences, and Dean of Faculty at ESSEC Business School; Nicolas Glady, professor of Marketing at ESSEC Business School; and Patrick Luciano. Market Intelligence Manager for Orange – Keeping-up with the big data revolution means:

Understanding the magnitude of the Big Data revolution

Professor Nicolas Glady likens Big Data to a veritable tsunami of information that will revolutionize the way we see the world. And as devices begin to interact with each other, we could safely argue that this is only the beginning of the revolution.

Indentify the Real Challenge

More so than gathering or storing, the challenge for businesses will be to create value from big data.  Beyond the ethical and legal challenges, Professor Vincenzo Esposito Vinzi explains that the challenge is to move from the availability of data, to action: “It’s a huge opportunity because for what might be noise to some companies, might be valuable information for those companies better equipped to analyze it.”

Moving in on an attractive market

“The big data market looks very attractive today,” says Patrick Luciano. “Some estimates are as high as 17 billion dollars in 2013… But the big data market is also very complex and competitive with players coming from traditional data mining and data analytics, as well as pure IT players… So to be well positioned in this market, you’ve got to develop the necessary skills, not only to process the data, put also to understand and draw knowledge from it.”

Identifying the right tools

Professor VInzi calls on statisticians to come out of their comfort zone: “this revolution demands that we change the way we do statistics – it’s a matter of moving from statistical methods to algorithms, it’s a matter of moving from classic hard modeling, to soft modeling, it’s about putting more importance on visualization. This means working from the beginning of the process hand in hand with businesses – so that scientific developments meet their needs.”

Developing the right competencies internally

Nicolas Glady, Vincenzo Esposito Vinzi and Patrick Luciano agree that a cultural change is neededed. Business Schools like ESSEC will play an important role, not only working with professors to develop cutting-edge analytics tools – but also educating professionals who will be able to confront the big data challenge.  

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