Dean Stoecker, President & CEO, Alteryx
The Data Revolution
A new group of Big Data analytics providers are revolutionizing how companies collect, process and transform data into insightful competitive advantages. Data analysts no longer need to wrangle the (already busy) IT staff for support to answer time-sensitive, business-critical questions. Instead, analysts can do it themselves, much like how administrative office workers have all the tools on their desktop to create presentations and marketing collateral. Up until now, much of the focus of the Big Data technology market has been about infrastructure. However, a shift is upon us in the analytics sector. One of the key reasons for the revolution is because of the open-source R programming language. Just like Linux and Hadoop before it, R is opening the door for innovation which has been stifled historically by proprietary languages such as SAS.
Big Data analytics is in the hands of everyday analysts where they no longer require programmers and statisticians to prepare and analyze a data set. Firstly, we see a boost in productivity, such that companies will be able to answer important data-centric questions quickly. The second benefit comes with data blending. With more powerful analytics, analysts will be able to acquire very diverse, large data sets and blend them together in ways that were never possible before (assuming given reasonable budgets and timeframes). As a result, small companies will be able to use Big Data analytics to create larger companies on limited resources and the industry titans will be able to further their dominance through innovative uses of analytics.
To realize success, entrepreneurs need to identify their core competencies and stick to them no matter how tempted they might be to tackle new opportunities or how distracted they might get due to hot topics.