Big Data & Analytics Heroes

Jon McPheron

Director, Business Information Delivery, Alliance Data

Jon McPheron, director of business information delivery at Alliance Data, is our IBM Big Data & Analytics Hero this week.

What were the biggest challenges with getting started with big data and analytics?

The biggest challenge we faced when starting with Big Data was introducing change to the organization.  What the organization needed to accept was that all of the traditional methods of dealing with data -- more processors, more disks and more bandwidth were not going to solve the demands of big data and the analytics that we wanted and needed to perform.  The world was changing and we needed to change as well.

How did you get organizational support for your big data initiatives?

We ultimately gained the support for our data initiatives by showing the math.  We were able to show what it would cost using traditional methods to handle the volumes and variety of data in our environment vs. what it would cost to deliver an MPP environment that was built to handle big data.  The exponential increases in speed and for both data acquisition and analytics didn’t hurt either.

Do you think big data and analytics will handle the data growth in 10-15 years or do we need another shift in technology? Why?

At the rate of data growth seen of the past few years coupled with the increasing demand for data through mobile, social, streaming and yet to be seen sources will require a next generation technology to perform data management and analytics.  The future state of analytics will require real-time analytics to make decisions while the data is being captured all while using historical data to interpret patterns, trends and preferences.