Analytics and Big Data are everywhere – but perhaps not always in the first places you look
This is the title of an invited talk, given by Craig Saunders at the Royal Holloway, University of London, UK on the 10th of March 2014.
Abstract: There is no denying the fact that terms like Analytics and Big Data are being used everywhere: in business, research and even mainstream media. One can follow many discussions on what these terms mean, where on the hype curve we currently are, whether or not there is a really need for new technologies and research for Big Data --- the list of debates is practically endless. The bottom line is that we are producing, storing and have access to, more and more data. When you couple this with increasingly advanced technological enablers to use that data in a myriad of ways, and a tech-savvy world of corporations and end-users that not only demand but expect services that can only be delivered by mining and using such data, you end up with a highly competitive business space of commercial leaders who are already capturing the still maturing analytics business market, and also a range of possibilities and opportunities that are not yet completely understood. This is where we are today, but what are the real implications of this for companies operating in this space, or indeed individuals on the ground with specific skills and expertise? A cursory look at the many reports may suggest the answer is simple: data scientists can unlock hidden secrets and give you access to this exciting new world. This is certainly a part of the puzzle, but unsurprisingly the reality is much more complex. In this talk I will discuss some of the challenges faced by corporations in navigating the Analytics and Big Data oceans, illustrate this with some examples of how Xerox is using novel analytics research to provide innovative services, and give a perspective on what all this means for today and tomorrow. What are the big challenges? What are the trends? Where is expertise most needed? And what does that mean for those of us who work in the analytics and big data world?
Manager: Craig Saunders
The Services Innovation Laboratory, created in 2009 aims at innovating in Xerox current services and nurturing new ones. The lab is addressing some of the key research challenges raised by services and service delivery systems. It is currently leading the development of a services research platform which will be used by all the R&D centres to evaluate, develop and deliver building blocks, concepts and prototypes for future information services. The lab also has an active role of collaborating with other services innovation networks capable of nurturing our research.
Services innovation has received a lot of attention in recent years, as organizations began to realize that their research, development and innovation processes did not necessarily take into account some of the key aspects of services and services provision. Examples are the overlap in consumption and production of services; the increasing role of online platforms for services delivery; the central role of people, skills and knowledge in adding value to the otherwise immaterial object of the transaction; the trends towards self-provision and (mass) customization; etc. Moreover, the classical distinction between products and services is fading, as product value is enriched through service agreements and as services are productized for the benefit of economies of scale.
The lab will initially focus on some key challenges given by the transition to online information services, the implications of co-production in services systems and advanced architectures for improving services efficiencies and scalability. Example projects that populate this agenda are: