Empowering your company with big data

Empowering your company with big data

If your business spans multiple locations, the first step to unleashing the power of your stored data sets is to ensure connectivity across your enterprise.

The reason for this is simple – the true power of big data can only be realised when it is accessible through a distributed network. If isolated or siloed, it simply cannot help your business grow.

In a keynote presentation at CeBIT Australia 2018, Arun Kohli, Executive General Manager, IT Strategy and Architecture at nbn™ co, spoke about how organisations can enhance their service offerings by enabling distributed big data across their operation. He says that’s an area where the national broadband network (nbn) will be able to help.

The nbn™ as a key building block in a world of distributed data

Australia’s nbn™ network is playing a critical role in enabling a world of distributed data, helping bridge the digital divide by being one of the country’s most important connectors. By 2020, nbn™ aims to connect over eight million homes and businesses.

Every business, small or big, needs to harness big data in order to retain competitive advantage. To keep pace with increasing customer demand for speed and accuracy, this needs to be done over a network that’s high in wholesale bandwidth, low in latency at the network level, reliable and pervasive.

Since its implementation, Kohli says the nbn™ has created significant improvements in the Australian business landscape. In fact, AlphaBeta research done on the socio-economic impact of the nbn™ network found:

  • About 200% growth rate in new businesses located in nbn™-ready areas in 2017.
  • Approx. 2.3% annual growth in self-employed women in nbn™-ready areas in 2017 (compared to 0.1% growth in non-nbn™ areas).
  • A $1.2bn increase in economic activity as at FY2017.
  • In less than a decade, Australia has gone from being 29th on the list of internet equality index of OECD countries to being in the top 10.

How enhanced connectivity is creating the data-driven organisation

With data decentralisation and distribution across onsite data centres and multiple cloud infrastructure, big data helps influence the economics of what’s possible for data-driven businesses.

Enabled by a distributed network, the nbn™ access network offers organisations better access to big data (and the performance of that data) in the following ways:

  • Volume – the vast amount of data generated every second means there’s hardly any information that can be “missed”.
  • Velocity – the speed of data generation and movement allows businesses to use data in a number of ways, including real-time reporting and predictive analytics.
  • Variety – the ability to collect different types of data from various sources provides breadth of choice.

Internally, nbn™ is no stranger to driving improvements with the use of collected data – AI and machine learning tools are helping the company drive enhanced network performance analytics.

“Traditionally, there are two approaches to managing the health of our networks. Either an issue is found during a routine check and resolved, or you hear about it from someone, usually a customer,” says Kohli.

“But with so much data available today, we can use the information we have to be proactive, instead of just reactive, which greatly improves the better customer experience,” he said. 

Real-time big data processing enables the next level of network health management

Network performance impairments happen in real life and things can go wrong any time. For example:  

  • Unterminated branches of copper pairs in the premises (usually from previous installations) can cause signal reflections which may result in speed loss.
  • Water penetration (outside of a premises) can cause corrosion of the copper pairs, resulting in speed loss and service instability.

Even if services aren’t impacted, there could still be degradation. But machine learning can identify copper issues at scale, and prevent potential disruption.

By successfully “training” machine learning models (applying algorithms) to recognise various impairment types from spectral data, nbn™ can:

  • predict when services may start degrading (without a user alerting them).
  • calculate – using geo-spatial data – an approximation of where the fault lies. If a fault is detected 7.2 metres from a premise for example, nbn™ can quickly deploy a technician to fix the problem without anyone needing to be on site.

Harnessing the power of big data with the right tools

Nbn™ is just one of an increasing number of organisations that have found real and measurable success using big data in a distributed model.

Of course, distributed big data is only useful if you’ve got the right tools to utilise it properly. This seven-step checklist will help you choose the right software for your business. Download it today.

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