Big Data needs Identity in order to Act

May 28, 2015

At the 2015 Identity Summit Scott McNeely declared “Big data without Identity is not actionable

Let’s discuss.

Pulling from Information Week and IBM the Top 6 use cases of Big Data are:
1. Big Data Exploration
2. 360 degree view of customer
3. Information Security and Intelligence
4. Operation Analysis of data from Internet of Things
5. Data warehouse Augmentation/Optimization
6. Big Data Efficiency play (break down silos)

Big Data use case

How Identity makes Big Data actionable

360 degree view of customer

How can you understand the customer from 360 degrees if you don’t know who the customer is? The trick here is linking their social media info to their account info – talk about resolving ambiguous joins!

Information Security and Intelligence

If you plan to leverage social media to improve your fraud detection once again you must link that data to your customer’s account. Without that you have nothing to detect let alone act on.

Operation Analysis of data from Internet of Things

With more devices connected to the Internet you can get a whole lot more data from these devices – picture the Nest Learning thermostat and the Power Meter data flowing in and being analyzed together to tell customers how to lower their usage or warn them to lower usage to stave off a blackout. I can almost hear a HAL like voice saying “Dave you lowered your thermostat – I can’t let you do that.”

Data warehouse Augmentation/Optimization

While Data warehousing is about aggregating data to look for trends you usually capture data at the transactional level and want to tie it to the customer hence all of those grocery store loyalty cards.

Big Data Efficiency play (break down silos)

Information weekly’s example about “A large global financial institution … wanted to move from next-day to same-day balance reporting for its corporate banking customers” again illustrates how identity is the thread that allows you to make meaning of the disparate data.

Big Data Exploration

Since this use case is really about exploring your data to do one of the others it makes more sense to look at how Identity fits in to the other use cases

Conclusion: Scott is right. Without Identity there is no way to act on most of the big data results.