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Big data tech makes inroads into UK public sector

03

Aug
2016
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Big data tech makes inroads into UK public sector (iStockphoto/blackdovfx)

Big data technology is beginning to make a mark within the UK public sector.

Both HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and the Home Office are now using Hadoop to help manage their data needs, according to a report from Computer Weekly. Both organisations are using commercial distributors of the software, with HMRC utilising Cloudera and the Home Office working with Hortonworks.

The former spent some £7.4 billion on Cloudera at the beginning of last year before investing almost another £1 million earlier in 2016.

A HMRC spokesperson told Computer Weekly: "HMRC has built an enterprise data hub – a powerful central repository for all of its data, which will help it to personalise services to customers and strengthen its compliance … Read more

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How can you keep your data lake as clean as possible?

27

Jul
2016
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One of the key trends in big data analytics for the last couple of years has been the concept of the 'data lake'. The idea behind this is to place all a business' incoming data in a single location, from which it can be studied at will.

But while this may seem like a simple idea in principle, the reality may often be far different. If organisations are not careful with how they manage this, it can quickly become clogged with poor-quality information, irrelevant details and inaccuracies, which could see a firm's data lake ending up looking more like a swamp.

So how can this be avoided? In a new report, Constellation Research explained that many businesses fail to … Read more

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How are retailers making the most of big data?

26

Jul
2016
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One part of the economy that's been particularly quick to embrace the potential of big data is the retail sector. Given the large amounts of customer information these firms collect as a matter of course, being able to feed this into an advanced analytics platform in order to gain insight is a natural fit.

Therefore, forward thinking retailers were some of the first adopters of big data analytics technology, and have developed their innovations into mature solutions that can give them a leg-up over competitors. But what does this look like in the real world?

Datanami recently highlighted several key use cases for big data that retailers are employing. While some are straightforward, there are also some more complex solutions … Read more

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How the aviation sector is embracing big data

22

Jul
2016
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The aviation sector has always been a leader when it comes to technology, so it should be no surprise that the industry has been quick to embrace the potential of big data.

In many ways, it's no surprise that there are many opportunities for data to have an impact. With millions of people taking to the skies every day, this gives airlines a huge pool of resources they can use to improve services and determine trends. 

Meanwhile, the advent of Internet of Things sensors offers airlines greater ability to conduct activities such as predictive maintenance, as well as giving manufacturers more insight into what is happening on the factory floor.

Among the companies looking to take advantage of this is … Read more

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Insurance sector ‘must be careful’ in how it uses big data

21

Jul
2016
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The increased use of big data in the insurance sector to conduct more personalised risk analysis and tailor quotes accordingly could lead to the create of a new 'underclass' of consumers who struggle to secure coverage unless the industry treats the technology with care.

This is the warning of a new report from the Chartered Institute of Insurance (CII), which said the use of the technology could result in some people being refused insurance altogether if they are deemed to be too risky.

The Financial Times reports that big data analytics is increasingly being viewed as a key part of the future of insurance due to its ability to give providers a more complete picture of their customers, thereby leading … Read more

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How can you ensure the quality of IoT data?

14

Jul
2016
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How can you ensure the quality of IoT data? Image credit: iStockphoto/cifotart

One of the biggest trends affecting the analytics sector at the moment is the emergence of the Internet of Things (IoT) as a key source of data.

Over the next few years, the number of IoT devices is set to explode. By the end of 2020, Juniper Research forecasts there will be some 38 billion such items in use, a threefold increase since 2015.

But while this will present huge new opportunities for businesses to apply big data analytics to the information generated in order to gain valuable insight, it does pose a range of risk as well.

Although questions such as privacy are well documented, one issue that is frequently overlooked is the quality of the data itself. Businesses … Read more

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Machine learning a key focus for big data initiatives

12

Jul
2016
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A large number of companies will look to introduce machine learning capabilities as part of their efforts to exploit big data in the coming years, a new survey has found.

Research by Evans Data found more than a third of big data developers (36 per cent) now use some elements of machine learning in their projects. While the market for this is still largely fragmented, the financial and manufacturing sectors are showing particular interest in the technology, as are businesses looking to take advantage of Internet of Things opportunities.

Janel Garvin, chief executive of Evans Data, explained that machine learning encompasses a range of techniques that are rapidly being adopted by big data developers, who are in an excellent position … Read more

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Most firms set to boost investment in real-time analytics

04

Jul
2016
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The vast majority of companies in the retail, technology, banking, healthcare and life sciences sectors will be investing in real-time analytics tools for studying human and machine-generated data.

According to research conducted by OpsClarity, 92 per cent of these organisations expect to increase their focus on streaming data applications within the next 12 months.

To do this, almost four-fifths of respondents (79 per cent) will be reducing investment in batch processing tools, or even eliminating these entirely, as they shift their resources to real-time analytics.

Dhruv Jain, chief executive and co-founder of OpsClarity, stated that the ability to study data in real-time can give businesses a significant competitive advantage in today's digital economy, allowing them to become more agile … Read more

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How big data supports 2016’s summer of sport

30

Jun
2016
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There are now countless examples of how big data can help companies across all industries improve decision-making, boost customer service and give employees a better insight into the wider industry. But the technology is far more wide-ranging than many people realise.

In fact, big data will have a key role to play in several of this summer's biggest sporting events. 2016 is a big year for international sports, with Euro 2016 and the Copa America Centenario taking place on either side of the Atlantic, before the Rio Olympics gets underway in August.

But many of this summer's events will be heavily reliant on big data, both to help team and competitors improve their performance, and keep fans up-to-date on what's … Read more

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Younger workers most optimistic about big data

28

Jun
2016
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Companies remain highly optimistic that big data analytics solutions will have a transformative effect on the way they do businesses, but younger employees are far more confident than their older counterparts, a new survey has found.

IDG's 2016 Data and Analytics Survey found that more than half of businesses (53 per cent) plan to implement big data initiatives within the next 12 months, are are already undergoing such as process.  

Overall, 78 per cent of employees agree or strongly agree that the collection and analysis of big data has the potential to fundamentally change the way their company does business in the next one to three years. Meanwhile, 71 per cent agree or strongly agree that big data will … Read more

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