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Making Big Data Think Bigger


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A graphic visualization of the mobile industry, ranging from hardware makers to media providers.

Big-data management will create a significant shift in the way decisions are made, as new sources of data are mined for patterns.

Credit: Rahul Basole

Big-data management will create a significant shift in the way decisions are made, as new sources of data are mined for patterns. Artificial intelligence and machine-learning tools could help executives look into the future and guide major strategic decisions. However, Harvard University professor David B. Yoffie says, "the leap from the tools to the insight is the weak link."

Computer scientists are working to strengthen that link through computation enterprise analytics. The field involves a collaboration between computing and management science to describe complex business ecosystems.

The research relies on software that automatically analyzes information based on significance and relevance. The software then translates the data into graphics showing links, nodes, and types of activity among the actors in a business ecosystem.

"The tools we'll be developing are visual analytics for the C-suite," says Georgia Institute of Technology professor Rahul C. Basole. For example, the tools could provide early signals about where a company's competitors are investing in innovation.

"It is taking data-analysis tools out of the engineering realm, with its focus on optimization and efficiency, and putting it into the strategic management realm," says the Center for Global Enterprise's Peter C. Evans.

From The New York Times
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