Acronis Cyber Protect
formerly Acronis Cyber Backup

The following is a guest post by John Grady, senior manager of product marketing at XO Communications

Right now, there are approximately 4.4 trillion gigabytes of information in the digital universe, according to research from EMC. By 2020, this universe will have expanded to more than 44 trillion gigabytes. For businesses, staying ahead of the data deluge means understanding what's useful in this sea of information, what's not and how all this data can create actionable insights. Fortunately, there are five tech trends that can help your organization manage this information explosion. 

The Rise of Data Scientists

A recent Business 2 Community article makes the argument that when it comes to big data, there's a problem: most statistics are worse than lies. The biggest issue? Letting data speak for itself can lead to spurious correlations, such as the oft-repeated example that because ice cream sales and pool drownings often increase over the same time period, they must be related. In fact, summer heat is the root cause of both.

The same is true for big data. Left unchecked, analytics programs will return a host of “relationships,” many of which are nothing more than simple correlations. The answer? Consider a data scientist. According to Villanova University, data scientists fill a unique need in the tech industry — McKinsey and Company, meanwhile, reports that by 2018 there will be a shortage of these professionals on the order of 140,000 to 190,000. 

Targeted Utilities

According to Steve Cassidy of PC Pro, the technology landscape has also seen the rise of targeted utilities designed to help companies get their feet wet with big data. Cassidy describes it as a “fat hosepipe of data that gushes relentlessly into whatever unfortunate syslog server and repository you have managed to cobble together.”

The solution for first-timers? Start with a simple setup that leverages a lightweight syslog serve. You'll see right away the sheer breadth and volume of information accessible. To manage all this data, use a syslog reporting tool that can make sense of what's coming in and provide clear reports. 

The Right Platform for the Job 

In a HuffPost interview, data expert William McKnight argues it's critical to find the right platform for the job. While it's often difficult to justify the replacement of a working system — even if it doesn't perform as promised — holding onto legacy data handling methods can put companies at risk of falling behind. McKnight notes that even when companies choose a dedicated data option, they frequently opt for a massive, catch-all data warehouse. By leveraging technologies like columnar databases or in-memory high performance databases combined with master data management (MDM) strategies, it's possible to craft the ideal platform for the job. 

Master Data Management (MDM)

MDM not only helps manage the volume of your incoming data, but also its validity. With multiple data sources required to engage customers and create actionable insights, the validity of data is crucial. MDM tools allow you to verify information before it's used for analytics or becomes the cornerstone of a new marketing initiative. The total cost of ownership (TCO) of big data deployments can be daunting, at best. Master data management helps lower this cost over time.

Voice Analytics 

Phone calls and video chats contain useful information, but aside from the standard “this call may be monitored” advisory, most companies don't leverage this content. Hosted PBX or VoIP systems offer not only the convenience of off-site management for all aspects of unified communication (UC) — such as mobile, voice and video — but can now be used as part of a big data strategy to provide speech analytics and emotion detection. The result? A better understanding of customer concerns and red flags that aren't always apparent at first glance.

Want to handle the data deluge? Find the right staff, the right utilities and the right platform for the job. Then, take information-gathering a step further with voice analytics.

John Grady is the senior manager, product marketing with XO Communications responsible for marketing the XO Data, Managed Services, Security and Applications Performance Management (APM) products. In this role, John has been responsible for launching a number of XO products including 100G service, several new cloud products, as well the XO Network Enabled Cloud solution.

Image via Can Stock Photo

About Acronis

A Swiss company founded in Singapore in 2003, Acronis has 15 offices worldwide and employees in 50+ countries. Acronis Cyber Protect Cloud is available in 26 languages in 150 countries and is used by over 20,000 service providers to protect over 750,000 businesses.