An Expedition into Big Data – ‘Insightful’ Interview with Teradata Hotshot

Rajesh Shewani
Rajesh Shewani, Head, Technology and Solution Architecture, Teradata India

Amidst lingering to undermine the real pontifical and term of Big Data, the technology is getting more than just an enterprise notion. Not wrong to classify that it is catapulting a new era of data world. Moreover, it also remains the driving force behind many ongoing waves of digital transformation, including artificial intelligence, data science and the Internet of Things (IoT).

Rajesh Shewani, Head, Technology and Solution Architecture, Teradata India, while an erudite chat with BIS Infotech precisely decodes the term ‘Big Data’ for today’s data-driven businesses. He also connects the dots on how mere data can turn into insightful ROI. Edited Excerpts.

  1. How is your company shaping the future of Big Data analytics?

The use of Big data analytics is on the rise. A recent report from the Mckinsey Global Institute, The age of analytics: Competing in a data-driven world, revealed, “Most companies are capturing only a fraction of the potential value of data and analytics.”

Deeper, more meaningful insights have become a competitive necessity for businesses across sectors. It’s imperative for business to embrace and fully utilize the data trends that will drive the organization into the future. Data-driven companies realize more value from their data by taking a data and analytic-centric approach to business insights. The data and analytic-centric approach, as opposed to the application-centric approach, allows you to connect the dots across your business.

Teradata delivers better business outcomes through technology-enabled solutions in the areas that matter most – from operational excellence and asset optimization, to customer experience and product innovation, to finance transformation and risk mitigation. We at Teradata, always strive to enable our customers to develop the best business justification, analytics strategy, ROI, design, implementation, and support structure for their analytical environment. Our deep business, industry, and architectural consulting expertise drives measurable business value not only for Teradata products, but also for numerous other industry leading data and analytics vendors, technologies and open source tools. The Teradata Unified Data Architecture™ (UDA) is the only truly unified data management solution on the market, orchestrating best-of-breed and complementary technologies to align with a multitude of analytical needs. Core technologies by themselves are not enough; they have to work together to provide business value. Teradata extends and aligns its broad portfolio of robust products and services with key partnerships to help customers get the highest value from their analytics, providing easy data access for users and simplifying data movement and systems management for administrators. We think smart, and scale even faster. Our consultants and data scientist professionals determine the most advantageous architecture, infrastructure and toolsets for the best business outcomes.

  1. India is today a global house for startups and budding entrepreneurs, what benefits will Big data bring to their business?

Numerous reports and studies indicate that India is a breeding ground for start-ups and government initiatives like ‘Make in India’ and ‘Digital India’ have led to the significant growth of this segment. Newly exploding volumes of data makes it difficult for existing database management systems to cater to.  For startups, this data is crucial to make decisions in real time as against the practice that takes anywhere between minutes, hours, days to answer queries from customers and businesses, Advanced Big data analytics solutions can help businesses and startups assess their current data and analytics ecosystem, develop a data-driven strategy through a time-proven consultative approach and established industry best practices. Analyzing and managing large data sets allow startups to perform sentiment analytics, predict and reduce churn, and retarget new and existing customers, accordingly. Many Big Data solutions are scalable and live in the cloud, and they’re also designed to be user friendly with the ability to tailor best-of-breed technology and solutions to specific business needs and objectives of the growing number of startups.

  1. Which sectors you see as early adopters of this technology and benefits been leveraged to their businesses?

Disruptive new technologies and transformative innovations hit some industries harder than others. Some sectors adopt earlier or follow faster than others. For big data, financial services, retail and communications are among the trailblazers. Our clients include many of the top performers and best-known brands in India in telecom, financial services, manufacturing to name a few.  For instance, take the example of financial services, with business pressures building up, financial services firms are now forced to better analyze and leverage information. The dimension for BFSI sector is changing from Information Led Decision Making to Information Enabled Real time Action. With Omni Channel execution being taken up, banks, insurers, capital market firms, or even regulators need to be able to respond instantaneously at the source of the interaction. All the decisions & actions for items like Next Best Offer, Fraud Prevention, NPA Control, Relationship Based Pricing, Risk Adjusted Underwriting, these are use cases and areas that need to be backed up by a strong analytics platform foundation. A Data Platform that can handle the real-time decisions, and also be a scalable infrastructure to handle complex regulatory and operational analytics actionable. Even for some of the best-run banks, managing risk, regulatory compliance and profitability, keeping the customer centricity and agility in-tact is extremely challenging.

It pays to integrate. Integrating information from across the enterprise enables financial services companies to perform analytics and get the answers they need to meet regulations, make informed decisions and improve the business. The best solution has long been an advanced big data platform that delivers a data-centric approach to solving problems, making decisions and planning strategies. Teradata is a recognised leader by analyst firms and customers in the Big data and analytics technology space.

  1. Are Indian organizations aware on how data can become a profitable business decision making? 

We are seeing a strong demand for big data analytics solutions and services from the Indian market. Some early innovators in industries like BFSI, Telecom and Automotive realize this already and are taking significant strides to adopt a data driven approach. . Today, more data means more details, but not necessarily more insight. We are increasing seeing with Indian organizations that despite being data-rich, they are still insight-poor. We are working with them to help them realize and uncover how more data can mean more opportunity and business insights. This new insight can drive better decisions that give them a competitive edge or allow for new avenues for business growth and profitability. It is imperative for them to understand which details they should focus on to reveal insights, patterns, and connections that they didn’t even know to look for before. Indian organizations are undertaking several initiatives with regard to Big Data analytics, IoT as well as open source technologies like Hadoop. We have the ability to provide them with best of breed solutions in this space along with the consulting and services expertise required to implement these initiatives.

  1. What are the key trends expected in Big Data and what will be the impact in Indian enterprises? NASSCOM report suggests that currently the Indian analytics market is about $1.15 billion and by the end of 2017-18, it is expected to reach around $2.3 billion.

Big data and analytics has consistently grown to become a critical element in the decision-making process and more and more businesses are today recognizing the need for an advanced data analytics infrastructure.  Even as the interest continues to rise, the market has changed quite a bit due to open-source and cloud coming into play.  Going by the developments shaping across markets, here’s some key trends expected in Big data analytics:

IoT goes mainstream

According to a recent predictions report, smart cities as planned by the government of India will use nearly 1.6 billion IOT connected devices by 2016, an increase of 39 per cent from 2015. Smart commercial buildings are predicted to be the highest user of IoT until 2017, followed by smart homes. Together these two categories will consume just over 1 billion connected devices by 2018. Tens of billions of physical devices are expected to join the global network by the end of the decade, providing a number of concerns and opportunities for planners, policymakers and regulators.

Analysis of Things (AoT)

It is expected that at places such as industrial zones, office parks, shopping malls, airports or seaports, IoT can also help reduce the cost of energy, spatial management and building maintenance by up to 30 per cent.  The biggest trend therefore will not just be the increase in connected devices but the data that these devices begin to generate that will create a strong demand for the ‘Analysis of Things’ or AoT. It is the emergence and mainstreaming of AoT that we will see as a significant outcome as the IoT ecosystem comes into play. This analysis or analytics of things will go on to provide disruptive advantages to companies and entities.

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning have begun to creep into our lives in more diverse and unexpected ways. Just at a glance, AI algorithms are starting to self-improve search rankings and search results, automated investing, and personal digital assistants. Technology is getting better at making machines better, and in the next few years, we may start inching closer to approaching human-level intelligence with these systems.

     IoT, Cloud and Big Data come together

The technology is still in its nascent stage, but the data from devices in the Internet of Things became and will continue to become one of the “killer apps” for the cloud and a driver of petabyte scale data explosion. For this reason, we see leading cloud and data companies bringing Internet of Things services to life where the data can move seamlessly to their cloud based analytics engines.

  1. Cloud Based Analytics is said to be catching fire in Big Data market. What kind of impact do you expect in Indian market?

There is huge demand for cloud services and it is estimated that by 2020, 90 percent of our customers expect to have a hybrid cloud environment – and more than 85 percent expect to buy ‘as a service’ for data warehousing.

Most Indian business have traditionally opted for a conservative approach towards data warehousing. As increasing amount of data is being created, businesses are presented with newer challenges and cloud will effectively emerge as a popular platform for data warehousing needs. Considering the market developments, we launched, Teradata Everywhere, our data warehouse and analytic software, can be deployed in the cloud or on-premises with the added benefits of subscription pricing and rapid spin-up. IntelliCloud, Public Cloud, and Private Cloud offer solutions for Teradata Database, Aster Analytics, and Hadoop users, all with the same data warehouse and analytics software features available both in the cloud and on-premises. Teradata IntelliCloud, the next generation secure managed cloud offering that provides data and analytic software as a service (SaaS). It ensures, 100% software consistency while increasing business agility and boosting focus on data-driven analytic insights that have meaningful business outcomes. We expect the Indian market to increasingly consider Hybrid Cloud models for fulfilling their data and analytics requirements.

  1. Lastly, at what pace do you think the Indian market to mature for adopting Big Data technologies? 

According to the National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM), the big data analytics is expected to be worth $16 billion by 2025 in India. With this, we see immense opportunity, thus we are effectively calibrating our customer engagements and helping them gain business value from their analytics.

Today senior executives across industry verticals are increasingly engaging and employing varied analytical solutions to resolve their business challenges and driving newer decision making and strategies. Indian businesses are fast adapting to the change but for large scale adoption, it’s imperative that Indian business move beyond the traditional outlook and recognize the impact of data analytics on overall profitability and growth of the business.  That will still require some time to happen on a wide spread basis

Teradata has actively moved to embrace new options like cloud and open source that have legitimate places in the types of solutions that customers are embracing these days. Our continuous research and development creates a flexibility that turns the hype of analytics into measurable performance and power. Our focus is on building more choices, driving more innovation, and delivering more expertise across the data and analytics ecosystem.

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Niloy Banerjee

A generic movie-buff, passionate and professional with print journalism, serving editorial verticals on Technical and B2B segments, crude rover and writer on business happenings, spare time playing physical and digital forms of games; a love with philosophy is perennial as trying to archive pebbles from the ocean of literature. Lastly, a connoisseur in making and eating palatable cuisines.