Analytics Magazine Analytics Magazine, November/December 2014 - Page 8

Exe cu tive EDGE Machine learning unleashes big data potential The art of putting fragmented, often disconnected data sources together to generate actionable insights for the enterprise. By Durjoy Patranabish and Sukhda Dhal (l-r) 8 | Big data has no doubt created a big business buzz, and organizations and thought leaders are constantly talking about big data, yet many critics note that the widespread application of big data has not matched all the hype. Yes, big data helps unveil millions of facts about consumer behavior and trends. Leveraging emerging big data sources and types to gain a much more complete understanding of customer behavior – what makes them tick, why they buy, how they prefer to shop, why they switch, what they’ll buy next, what factors lead them to recommend a company to others – is strategic for virtually every company. But have data science organizations built the capabilities to truly harness big data? It’s clear that traditional predictive analytical models will be unable to work on big data, as these modeling tools need human intelligence to work across the data sets. They definitely make the analysis robust and quick, but only for the structured data sets. Big data, however, is mostly generated via unstructured formats such as images, comments on portals, a n a ly t i c s - m a g a z i n e . o r g w w w. i n f o r m s . o r g