Matthew Mace, Founder and CEO of BlueGranite, Inc., was another speaker at our Build IT Together event this June. BlueGranite improves businesses by utilizing data to make effective decisions. A summary of his presentation is below.

Need for change

The entire idea behind business intelligence (BI) is, “How can I make better and faster decisions by utilizing information about my products, customers, and services?” One challenge with traditional BI is “trying to drive the car by looking in the rearview mirror,” in reference to always having to look in the past for information to impact real-time. Another challenge is that today’s dramatic increase in data makes it harder for analysts to consume, let alone effectively analyze it. So, what else is driving the need for change?

  • Variety of data – 80% of world’s data is unstructured
  • Idea of value at high volume – there’s more opportunity to gain value by looking at more data across more systems
  • Exponential growth in data – we’re going to grow to 40 Zettabytes by 2020 (40 zettabytes = 1 trillion gigabytes)

Life Care: A case study

It can be a little daunting to begin using big data, he explained. When you first start, the cost curve is a lot higher than the value curve until a couple years go by. That was the case with one of their clients, Life Care Centers of America, who they’ve been working with for six years. After hundreds of their managers were using the dashboard and data for a couple of years, they learned how to make really vital decisions to improve their facilities. Now, those managers have become directors and Life Care says that they’re currently saving a million dollars a month due to better decision-making on labor costs.


Big Data & Businesses: Build IT Session 2


Half of Matt’s time was actually spent leading a collaborative session helping attendees apply big data to their own projects and initiatives. Groups used the following questions to help guide them in their application of big data:

  • What’s a common business industry we can all relate to?
  • What do you want from big data?
  • What are untapped/unstructured data sources that could benefit your organization?
  • What types of metrics and analytics are you looking at to improve your services?

A huge part of this conference is, in fact, to collaborate and network so we encourage you to attend next year in order to engage in these types of valuable discussions!

The Slides

What kind of big data do you use in your dashboards and reports to help make decisions? (Ex: weather forecasts, Facebook topic trends, Twitter hashtag popularity, etc.)

Want to check out the summary of (Newmind Group) Dan Jefferies’ talk about innovation? Go here.
The re-cap of (Maestro) Jen Randall’s speech on businesses going mobile and Hans Erickson’s (Detroit Regional Chamber) presentation about having an effective IT strategy will be up shortly so stay tuned!