Getting True ROI from Big Data: The Insights on Demand Model

By Mark Melillo & Thomas Palmieri

The number one benefit of gathering Big Data is in deriving useful information from the massive datasets you’ve assembled. Big Data analytics tools like Splunk help organizations do just that. However, it's important to create a budget and know how much you want to spend to solve a particular problem. Understanding your return on investment (ROI) is critical.

The questions that can be answered by Big Data analysis are vast, and you'll need to know what it's worth to determine the answers to the specific questions  you're interested in answering. For example, how important is it to know what an individual customer wants to buy or the history of what that customer has purchased before? A certain amount of money must be spent to obtain those answers, and the biggest challenge is trying to pinpoint when that investment will pay off.

With all the machine data that's able to be ingested, indexed and searched, there's a world of opportunities. You need to determine which problems your organization wants to solve first. Then you'll want a plan to show some ROI — and then draw on the experience to expand that capability.

Our favorite tool to help clients make sense of their data is Splunk, which  provides a unified way to organize and extract real-time insights from massive amounts of data from virtually any source: websites, business applications, social media platforms, servers, sensors, traditional databases and other open-source data sources. It can even employ machine learning and artificial intelligence techniques, so you can provide a predictive analytics solution to IT security and business user’s problems.

The total cost of computing is weighing heavily on today’s organizations. IT and business leaders must implement quality analytic tools that offer the best return on investment possible. The beauty of a tool such as Splunk is that the cost can be based on the amount of data analyzed, rather than a typical user license. That type of flexibility makes ROI readily apparent. It’s an “insights on demand” model.

For example, we can take some of your organization's information that you want to analyze, and Splunk charges you by the ingestion of that information. From there, we can conduct a proof of concept, build that application for you, get some real-time data, and show the ROI. You can expand that to other data sources. When you do, you'll pay for the additional amount of data that you're going to put through the engine. The cost is really data-driven and can start very small and become large—but it's ultimately controlled by how much data you want to analyze.

A torrent of data is flowing all around your business. Take a look at the marketplace and use cases that can be handled by big data solutions in today's market and with the most applicable and important use cases in mind, choose a technology and an experienced partner that can help you use the data you generate every single day, as quickly and cost-effectively as possible.  

Don't wait and don't delay. Your competition is going to be using business intelligence, and they may already. By employing efficient analytics methods, your ROI will be greater, but you must act now.

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