Are companies keeping secrets about big data ROI?


The going joke in big data is that ROI means “Reduction on Investment.” So far, real profits are missing in action. But a conspiracy of silence at enterprises may be hiding a very different reality, according to Mike Merrit-Holmes (pictured), senior vice president of global services strategy at Think Big, A Teradata Company.

“There’s more ROI out there than you necessarily see out in the public place,” Holmes said.

Many companies vying for a competitive edge are keeping mum on their big data returns. “If you start saying, ‘We’re doing this,’ then their competitors have an opportunity to catch up,'” he added.

Holmes spoke with John Furrier (@furrier) and Dave Vellante (@dvellante), co-hosts of theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s mobile live streaming studio, during the DataWorks Summit in Munich, Germany. (*Disclosure below.)

Admittedly, there are companies that win and companies that lose at big data. “Where we’ve seen companies struggle is where they’ve driven it from the bottom up, and where they succeed is where they drive it from the top down,” he said.

To drive profits, business people must identify objectives and funnel them down to IT. “Ultimately, they both need to meet in the middle, and you can’t do one without the other,” Holmes explained.

Without clear business goals, it is tempting to go on a big data-machine learning-AI-analytics shopping spree, he added. “Don’t choose your tool unless you know what you’re trying to achieve,” he advised.

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The second ingredient to monetizing data is operationalizing the analytics and algorithms, not simply toying with them in a one-off fashion, Holmes said.

This means “monitoring those models, being able to keep them up to date regularly, understanding whether those things are still accurate or not, because you don’t want to be making business decisions based on algorithms that are now a bit stale,” he said.

Watch the complete video interview below, and be sure to check out more of SiliconANGLE’s and theCUBE’s coverage of DataWorks Summit 2017 EU. (*Disclosure: TheCUBE is a paid media partner at DataWorks. Neither conference sponsor Hortonworks nor Teradata, sponsor of this segment, has editorial oversight of content on theCUBE or SiliconANGLE.)

Photo: SiliconANGLE