July 26, 2012 at 1:18 AM
Companies around the globe are wrestling with the problems posed by “Big Data.” Simply put, Big Data is the vast and constantly expanding trove of data generated by social media, mobile devices, sensing technologies, and other technologies that have only become widely available in the past 10 years or so. As this data is largely unstructured, it is extremely difficult to collect, classify, store and analyze. However, for those companies that can successfully crack the Big Data code, the information buried within can provide a significant competitive edge.
A recent webinar sponsored by BPO Outcomes and featuring speakers from Capgemini, Alsbridge and BPO Outcomes, “Analyze This: Your Business Process Analytics Strategy May Be Hurting your Business,” detailed how organizations can leverage third-party BPO services and technologies to effectively gain insight from Big Data to make better real-time business decisions. The market for Big Data BPO services is still fairly new, with many smaller and niche players, meaning it is open for nearshore providers with IT and data analysis expertise who want to expand their offerings.
Following are a few tips gleaned from the webinar that nearshore BPO providers considering entering the BPO services market, or even already in the market, can use to help ensure they offer Big Data customers what they need.
Get Behind the Driving Wheel – The primary drivers of the Big Data BPO market are avoiding the major costs of implementing the necessary hardware and software and hiring the right resources, as well as obtaining the experience and expertise to develop Big Data strategies. Nearshore BPO providers need to leverage cost-saving solutions such as cloud-based technologies and data extraction tools and statistical models, and also leverage the large labor-arbitraged resource pool which is available, to make sure they are driving the market and not reacting to it.
Support Real-time Decisions – When Big Data analytics are discussed, the conversation often hinges on how digging into Big Data allows companies to find out what customers are saying about them. While this is highly useful information that can be used for long-term product development and even shorter-term customer service purposes, the true competitive advantage organizations can gain from Big Data involves making real-time business decisions armed with deeper, richer information and insight than their rivals.
In addition to customer sentiment, this information can include socioeconomic trends, up-to-the-minute transactional records, supply chain data, and HR information such as employee performance and attendance. By adding real-time insight on top of real-time Big Data, nearshore BPO providers can place themselves in the forefront of vendors in this niche.
Flexible, Continuous Reporting – As part of the real-time nature of Big Data analysis, nearshore BPO providers must be prepared to offer true “24/7” continuous reporting. They also must provide a high degree of flexibility in how data and insight are delivered to ensure that clients get the information they need, when and where they need it. Thus nearshore BPO providers need to deliver varied sets of data such as content-sensitive alerts, financial reporting, territory monitoring, risk & governance, pattern detection, peer analysis and business process performance, among others.
Big Data is a new enough BPO specialty area that it is still evolving and taking shape. Nearshore BPO providers must decide whether they want to help create the Big Data market or wait to jump in after competitors in other regions have already molded it to their own specifications.