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Speed of the essence for big data in 2014

When firms come to look at their IT strategy for the year ahead, one activity that is likely to focus heavily in their thinking is overhauling their business intelligence solutions.

With organizations coming to better understand the full potential of technology such as big data analytics, there will be a major drive to transform their data warehouses from sprawling, hard-to-navigate repositories of connecting information into a tool that can quickly provide insight to improve business operations.

But one of the key challenges related to this, which firms will have to get to grips, with will be getting results quickly enough – particularly if they are still using legacy systems that have not been designed for high-speed data transfer and analysis.

Many companies may be unwilling to go to the expense of repurposing their entire IT infrastructure on what is often still an unproven technology, but there are alternative solutions to this that will enable them to greatly boost the quality and velocity of their business intelligence solutions without needed a whole new approach to how firms gather and store data.

The analytical acceleration tools offered by Kognitio are designed to work with any existing infrastructure, whether this is big data tools such as Hadoop or legacy business intelligence and enterprise data warehouses. The platform sits non-obtrusively within this, with the firm's in-memory technology studying billions of transactions and terabytes of data.

What this means in real terms is that complex analytics operations that in the past would have taken days or even weeks to provide answers can now be conducted in a matter of minutes. Queries performing using the analytical acceleration platform typically run between ten and 100 times faster than traditional business intelligence tools.

This means firms will be able to harness the power of real-time and predictive analytics in order to move ahead of their competitors and meet the needs of customers – something that is set to be hugely important in the coming years.

A recent study by Customer Strategist stated that it will not be enough in 2014 for firms to be merely reactive – or even proactive. Instead, the company stated the best-performing brands will have to be 'psychic', using data to anticipate customer needs and provide answers before individuals have even thought of the question.