Customer engagement drives big data trends in 2014

Executive requirements to drive heightened customer and citizen engagement and the need to protect that information in 2014 are the basis of IDC’s annual Asia/Pacific excluding Japan (APeJ) Top 10 Big Data Predictions for 2014.

The market messages around Big Data and analytics in the last two years has had a significant and important impact on the attention of executives. Top-level management typically prefer to act on high-context information, but often lack the means of accessing it. A key message of Big Data and analytics solutions is the relentless pursuit of making fact-based decisions possible, through data insights.

The reality that organizations face is that several things need to be coordinated to make these initiatives succeed. As we detail in the IDC Big Data Maturity Model, the five key dimensions are intent (clear business objectives), people (skills and culture), technology, process, and data (quality and governance). Making the rights investments in each of these dimensions will be a challenge for organizations, particularly on first attempts. IDC believes the drive for heightened customer and citizen engagement is non-negotiable and will be strong enough to compel organizations to push through these challenges.

Amassing personal behavior data will be at the center of many risks and rewards in this coming year.

We don’t feel connected to a brand when we feel like a marketing target. We build brand loyalty through better levels of service. Organizations that are stuck in the old mentality of only maximizing wallet share will risk brand reputation and losing out to those organizations that personalize services based on each individual’s interests.

Emerging trends in Big Data have spread quickly into both mainstream and niche plays. The key trends going into 2014 can be grouped into three domains:

  • Key industry opportunities for customer and citizen engagement
  • Technologies gaining broadest adoption, if not media attention
  • Market and regulatory impacts of enriching and monetising data

In the coming year, expect to see strong interest in the insights encoded in geolocation information, when tied to personal behavior. Efforts to enrich and leverage these insights will push all legal boundaries and expectations of privacy. Expect this to be a discussion that spreads across the markets in APeJ. More mature markets, like Australia and Singapore will be most prominent in leveraging Big Data and analytics for heightened customer engagement.

Against the backdrop of a stable economic outlook for 2014, IDC expects that companies in the region will invest in Big Data solutions, particularly given options to leverage cloud-based services. Shortened time to get started, paired with lower initial costs will make pilot projects feasible for a broader set of organizations.

IDC expects Big Data spending in the APeJ region to reach US$1.02 billion in 2014, which is a 36.3% growth over 2013. IDC believes growth rates to hold strong at these levels over the next four to five years, with a compound growth rate of 34.1% through 2017.

Below are some of the trends IDC believes will have the biggest commercial impact on the APeJ ICT market for Big Data.

Prediction 1 -Geolocation matched to individuals will see Telcos and Retailers attempting personalised services, while pushing the boundaries of consumers’ expectations of  privacy

Two different standards are in place for the protection of consumer and citizen privacy, government-defined legal regulations and individual expectations. Legal regulations are extremely limited, particularly in the face of data marketplaces, blurred lines of what people meant to share, and mass accumulators of otherwise disconnected personal data. Telcos, retailers, and to some extent banks, stand to fundamentally change their relationships with customers, based on the kind of insights afforded with joining and enriching various sources of personal data. If done correctly, they can move to a model of personalized and relevant services, and away from more traditional blast marketing of products.

The game changer on the privacy side will be geolocation information. When it comes togeolocation data, the majority of people have no idea how their data is being collected and shared. Mobile phones are currently the biggest source, with network triangulation, GPS, and wifi all providing streaming updates of where a device is, and by association, the owner of that device. As more cases surface of who has access to that data, and how it is being used, there will be an increase in awareness that individual expectations of privacy are being overrun.

Prediction 2 – High profile data breaches will drive regulators to draft specific new policy measures

Individuals are generally unaware or misinformed about how much of their behavior data is being collected, and by whom. Recent revelations about government spying are offensive, but only mildly surprising to most. But, discovery that companies have been collecting, buying, enriching, and profiling our very personal lives elicits a stronger response. Organizations that have built highly personalized profiles of individuals do not always treat those enriched views with the level of care needed.

In 2014, IDC anticipates a number of high profile data breaches that will expose how much information has been captured and enriched by some organizations. This will result in damage of brand reputation, a serious effect for an Asian organization, but more broadly will raise awareness that citizens are not as protected as they assume. This discovery will put pressure on governments and regulators to attempt clearer protection through new policies.

Prediction 6 – Infrastructure investments will outpace software and services, with storage for Big Data growing rapidly by 45% from the previous period

Volumes of data being created are unprecedented in our history. With IDC estimates showing that data will double about every two years, the infrastructure to store and analyse that data will grow rapidly. Particularly in emerging markets, the share of the data will grow from 36% in 2012 to 62% in 2020.

IDC envisions that storage will consistently be one of the fastest growing Big Data and analytics investments in the coming year and beyond, with at least a 45% growth from 2013. The question asked by organizations that will guarantee a continual growth in data captured is simple: “What is the worst that could happen, if I don’t have this data when I need it?”

Craig Stires is a Director for IDC’s Asia/Pacific Big Data and Analytics Research Group. With the Business Analytics Program, Craig and his team continuously gather, analyse, and provide insight into the expansive opportunities of Big Data and Analytics. With a focus on the real use cases and best practices, his team integrates with the thought leaders across the region. Contact Craig at“>