Built in Chicago
October 10, 2019
Originally published on the Built in Chicago website here.
While big data has long been harnessed by leaders across virtually every industry to make key business decisions, today, the field is a proven and established subset of tech. With an ever-growing list of professions and use-cases surrounding big data, trends have emerged in how that data is collected, organized and used.
Obviously, developments in big data mean different things to different companies. We spoke to data pros at three Chicago tech companies — working on everything from building digital assistants to improving employee retainment strategies — to learn more about the trends they’re keeping up with and how they’re impacting business operations.
GreenKey Technologies (GK)
What good is having all the data in the world if you can’t make good use of it when you need it? GreenKey Technologies provides entities in the OTC capital markets field data based on their audio and text communications. Chief Data Scientist Tejas Shastry said front-office staff at client companies could use quick, on-demand access to their comms data without tapping a data scientist for help. So, Shastry sees digital assistants as the next big wave in big data.
What are the top big data trends you’re watching that are significantly impacting the industry?
We use natural language processing to help financial firms structure and search their millions of voice and chat conversations for insights. Over the last year, the biggest shift we’ve seen is a rise in the need to query big data in the front office. Instead of using data scientists and business intelligence analysts to scour their data, firms want chat-bot interfaces so their front-office workers can get insights from their data directly as they’re doing their jobs. We think this trend will continue, with digital assistant use growing across many industries to help surface specific insights from internal data lakes.
What under-the-radar big data trends are you watching that the industry isn’t talking about?
The implementation of the data protection and privacy regulations under the General Data Protection Regulation in Europe have changed the way many of our clients think about leveraging their data. With tight regulations, we see firms increasingly requiring solutions that can be deployed on-premise or in a private cloud and co-located with privacy-sensitive data. This means technology companies will be increasingly offering solutions that don’t rely on a public cloud, and similarly, companies with GDPR-related data will need to embrace cloud-standard deployment models like Kubernetes in their own environments.
How are these trends affecting the future of your company?
Being cognizant of these trends has helped us deliver better products to our clients faster. We’ve adapted our NLP that initially focused on voice conversations to process chat as well, and doubled-down on our on-premise and private-cloud deployment models. As we move forward, we will continue to think of ways we can better expose big data directly to front-office workers without firms needing to build their own machine learning models or hire their own data scientists. We think both of these trends point to companies wanting out-of-the-box, on-premise solutions to make sense of their data.