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DR MOHAMMAD MAHMOUD HAMDAN , ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF COMPUTER SCIENCES , SCHOOL OF MATHEMATICAL AND COMPUTER SCIENCES , HERIOT- WATT UNIVERSITY DUBAI
EDITOR ’ S QUESTION
According to MarketResearch . com , the Middle East Big Data , business intelligence , and analytics market is projected to grow from US $ 5.09 billion in 2015 to US $ 12.38 billion by 2020 at a compound a CAGR of 19.4 %.
The regional trend proves that both the government and the private sector are currently depending on numerous emerging IT technologies and solutions , such as Big Data , business intelligence and analytics to support infrastructural developments , improve healthcare services , efficiently manage available natural resources , and mitigate risks and disasters .
In today ’ s complex business environment , the field of data analytics is growing in acceptance and importance . It is playing a critical role as a decision-making resource for executives , especially those managing large companies , corporations and organisations are moving to use Big Data and analytics to track consumer sentiment , build customer loyalty , gain competitive advantages , and make more effective business decisions .
A business can use data to create a customised shopping experience for customers , prompting a website to suggest products that customers are likely to purchase .
Businesses can analyse their competitors in real time , so they can adjust prices , make offers that are better than their competitors ’ sales and even analyse a competitor ’ s negative reviews to determine how they can out-perform that competitor .
Data can also help businesses to optimise their workflow and improve employee performance . By monitoring employee performance , human resources departments can better understand how employees spend much of their day , identifying areas in the workflow where efficiency is lost .
For financial businesses or businesses working with online transactions , careful data monitoring can improve security . Credit card companies are one example of how data can help eliminate fraud threats . By monitoring consumer behaviour , these companies can detect suspicious transactions , flag accounts and catch ( or even prevent ) fraud early on .
From a regional perspective , the GCC governments have already established bold plans to position themselves at the forefront of the digital revolution . Most GCC countries have acknowledged the importance of Big Data to unlock the possibilities . To date , some of these countries remain in the strategising phase and are working on developing concrete applications .
The Middle East banking sector is using predictive data analytics to strengthen risk assessment , generate revenue and build fresh ventures by understanding the market conditions . Other sectors such as oil and gas , tourism and pharma are also following suit and joining forces with Big Data investments . Be it , the UAE ’ s Ministry of Energy , launching oil and gas Big Data Project or leveraging technology to boost insulin production ( a proven case study of Julphar – a UAE based Pharma Company ), data has become indispensable .
In retail , Majid Al Futtaim , the leading shopping mall , communities , retail and leisure pioneer across the Middle East , Africa and Asia , has already deployed advanced analytics capabilities , which allow the company to gather deeper consumer insights and in turn , champion the personalised experiences it offers to customers .
Data analytics should be all about endusers . Companies typically place too much emphasis and focus on building an expensive backend data infrastructure without realising the importance of usability and access .
Organisations like to ditch their existing analytical architectures once they commit to a new product , as they believe the older systems cannot be leveraged . However , new analytical solutions can and should be implemented with complementary technical architectures that integrate with existing tools and solutions to enable new use cases . www . intelligentcio . com INTELLIGENTCIO