Five Years of Big Data - From pilots to a prerequisite

Five Years of Big Data - From pilots to a prerequisite

BIGDATAPUMP has now landed in Sweden and is ready to innovate in this new market with new customers. Next week we will be attending the Data Innovation Summit 2017, where will be sharing some of our client cases both on stage and at our booth. As a taster prior to the event, I’ve written down some thoughts on how the big data and analytics landscape has changed since we started in 2012 to this day and beyond. Discussion is welcomed!

From 2012 to five years later

Remember when back in 2012 Harvard Business Review declared Data Scientist the sexiest job of the 21st century? McKinsey had just published their widely referenced report on the transformative potential of big data, and the air was thick with anticipation and hubris. Everyone wanted to understand the implications of analytics, but hesitated to move from planning to implementation. In the same year, a team of ex-Nokians with extensive careers within the mobile phone unit’s big data development founded BIGDATAPUMP.

Since 2012, we’ve grown to a team of 40+ data scientists, architects and strategists, and helped tens of companies in developing analytics and big data capabilities across at least as many countries. Over the years we’ve seen born-digital companies and courageous data innovators make bold investments which have already led measurable business value, as well as companies, somewhat more conservative in their approach, that are still considering their next big analytics move. However, based on our experience it is clear that launching a few tactical experiments is not enough, but a full-on transformation is required – not to create a competitive edge, but to stay in the game. Below we’ll present our perspectives on where different industries stand today regarding their analytics innovation, data monetization concepts and data-driven customer experiences.

Media, telecommunications and digital services companies are either born-digital or stand in the front line of the transformation thanks to their access to large, good quality data masses. These companies are working in peta-scale, actively building data-driven products and their monetization models. Our customers Sanoma, Aller Media and Dubizzle are great examples of companies that understand the value of data as a strategic asset, enriching their own data through external sources and turning data into a profit driver. 2017 focus for this segment will be in capitalizing and continuing innovating new monetization concepts and maintaining the momentum they have reached!

Retail and finance companies are either actively reinventing themselves as digital actors or entering the market with born-digital business models – Zalando and the likes exert continuous but healthy pressure on traditional brands. In retail, artificial intelligence and cognitive services provide a significant opportunity for frequently bought together-, item-to-item- and personalized customer recommendations. Within retail and finance the movement from pilots to investments is the most noticeable, and the trend is supported by the EU Privacy legislation (GDPR) encouraging companies to invest into customer data management processes. For 2017 learnings from media and telecommunications can be almost directly leveraged in these industries. Add-on work will be on building seamless experiences between digital and physical spiced with new AI capabilities.

In 2015-2016, industrial manufacturers piloted heavily industrial internet, cloud analytics and big data. Several of the pilot initiatives are already showing potential for scaling, great examples of this being Nokian Tyres, energy producer Vapo and logistics giant MacGregor. In the last quarter of 2016 we saw a lot of promising movement from pilots to investments. 2017 IoT and industrial analytics in scale seems to be one of the largest growing and fastest moving areas for us.

From 2017 onwards

Managing complex big data and analytics infrastructures on-premises has changed from being an annoyance to a full-blown IT infrastructure bottleneck threatening to dilute the value of data. Today it is a de facto that cloud-based solutions are required to enable full production deployments with a significantly greater amount of data in a fraction of the time compared to on-premise setups. Doubts about security and privacy have for a long time slowed down the implementation plans, but the conversation around the topic has luckily started to shift. We expect the benefits of flexibility and resource efficiency to soon outweigh the concerns for good.

Even though analytics is no longer a novelty, in industries and geographies where adoption has been slow there is still an opportunity for first movers to gain edge over competition. However, the biggest challenge for born-digital, conservative adopters and data services companies alike is the talent gap. As it will in any case take too long for academia to start producing data scientists in the quantities required, we hope to see shorter courses or bootcamp-style data science classes to fill the gap in basic coding, maths and statistics as well as in more complex areas such as machine learning, data architecture and artificial intelligence.


BIGDATAPUMP is a leading cloud analytics company in Europe developing next generation data and analytics solutions for its customers in multiple business branches. Company is a trusted partner in data driven digital transformation providing consultation, technology solutions and implementation services taking the analytics to cloud.

BIGDATAPUMP is an active member of Microsoft Partner Network with Silver Data Analytics and Silver Cloud Platform competencies. Company is part of Affecto Plc.