This week in data – 13th December

Too often retailers find themselves sitting on a mountain of information, but they have trouble in translating that data to something meaningful.

Julian Burnett, CIO at House of Fraser, spoke to ZDNet about specific ways retail businesses can get ahead – using a successful framework from his own business.

Burnett says its important to create a culture whereby employees are constantly referencing the right information, and not just any information they can get their hands on. Otherwise, he argues, not much can change.

Retailers need to create a sense of self-discovery, he says, that will lead to a mindset of always searching for new insights.

Meanwhile – it may be difficult to comprehend but Hadoop has now been in market for 10 years. While big data as a concept has been around for quite a lot longer than that, in the popular consciousness this year marks 10 since “big data” has played a role in modern business lexicon.

Over at Datanami, the publication has a look back at the past decade in big data, describing how the industry moved from the “big data” era, to the “data lake” era, and now to a “data fabric” era.

In other news:

Complaining online has been a part of the internet since the web hit mainstream in the 1990s. Now a Japanese start-up has found a way to make money from hearing customers’ frustrations.

Insight Tech has a simple premise: they buy complaints from businesses. They then run the complaints through a big data framework to analyse common problems, then propose solutions.

“It’s really unique that we are working with academia and have this AI specialized in natural language,” he says.

Slightly more life-saving than analysing complaints is the science of organ donation, which is now turning to big data and analytics.

As ZDNet reports, the United Network for Organ Sharing has recently experimented with the Talend big data platform to create even more powerful, visual representations of data. Altogether the platform has reduced processing times from 18 hours to three or four, allowing members to find organ match donors quicker than never.

“Now, the data’s there, and we can refresh it weekly. Previously, it would have taken several weeks before we would get the information we needed.”

Worth a read:

Climate change is wreaking havoc on oceans and wildlife. This marine biologist is using big data to figure out how he can save the world’s oceans from future disaster. Motherboard.

Too often businesses think they can get big rewards from data, only to come up short. This article delves into how you can finally get the results from information that you’re looking for. Statnews.

Until next week.

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