Bigger, better insight

See also: Big data numbers

There is no commonly held definition but a general rule of thumb is that big data has to fit two of three criteria:

 - Volume: large sets of data;
 - Velocity: fast changing;
 - Variety: structured, semi structured and unstructured data much of which is increasingly owned outside the organisation.

For example, data stored about your customers on your CRM system, is structured, while email, comments left on social media or a video’s contents are not.

Much of the time the data will be a combination of all three factors, but notably big data does not have to be big.

The real reason you should be interested in big data is that it can genuinely deliver competitive advantage.

For example, fraud is growing faster than insurance companies can fight it. It is estimated that 10 to 20 per cent of all auto insurance premiums can be attributed to fraudulent claims.

Using predictive modelling, identity search technologies and a fraud indicator rules engine, you can identify patterns and behaviours indicative of potential fraud.


Earlier identification of potential fraud can then trigger additional data collection and case management activities to uncover cases with the highest probability of fraud.

In solutions running today, up to twice as many potentially fraudulent claims are being detected, with few false positives allowing earlier investigation.

The power of big data is that we now have the technology to extract valuable business insights from a huge range of internal and external, structured and unstructured data to understand what’s happening now, and what’s likely to happen next rather than what happened in the past.

Fast and timely
Einstein said “Everything that can be counted does not necessarily count; everything that counts cannot necessarily be counted.”

The data revolution just changed that. Previously organisations focused on their most important data.

The power, intelligence and speed of the latest business technology make the era of big data a reality. It is now possible to mine huge datasets cost effectively.

The potential to improve business performance by renovating the way you do business and make decisions is exciting.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield faced the challenge of creating the world’s largest healthcare informatics data warehouse at the time.