Book review: Big Data in Practice: How 45 Successful Companies Used Big Data Analytics to Deliver Extraordinary Results

Interesting to read:  Rating 4 star

Resourceful:              Rating 3 star

Technical level:        Rating 1 star

Industry: Various

Big data is such a hot topic these days that no C-levels of any industry can ignore it. Companies are investing big in collecting and analyzing data to support decision making. This book illustrates 45 cases how data analytics are applied to different business of different industries. Every case is a short and sweet read.

Industries covered span across hypermarket, entertainment, oil & gas, agriculture, banks, IT, F&B, fitness, social media and more. There are cases of new business model like Airbnb, Facebok, Netflix, and also more traditional companies like Royal Bank of Scotland, Rolls-Royce, and Ralph Lauren. Basically the idea is – Data Analytics is applicable for every business.

For every case, the Author has broken it down to 8 sections:

  1. Background – About the company, the industry
  2. What problem is the big data helping to solve? – What is the problem statement?
  3. How is the big data used in practice? – How the company is solving the problem statement?
  4. What were the results? – Did they solve it?
  5. What data was used?
  6. What are the technical details? – Software and system used
  7. Any challenges that had to be overcome? – Obstacle during the process
  8. What are the key learning points and takeaways?

The sections are making the case extremely easy to read and follow. I read it during my flight and it was enjoyable. Even most of the case are not related to my finance background, I find it inspiring and might be transferable to my field. It about learning from the best of other industries and innovate by connecting the dots.

One thing I do like about this book is that it included cases of small businesses. Everyone knows large corporations are investing in Big Data. Some may thing Big Data is expensive to use and analytics are not for SMEs. But no. This book demonstrated that even with limited resources, small but right tool can help micro business like single F&B outlet do analytics to boost sales and I definitely agree with it.

See this book as a case study book for inspiration. As you see I rated relatively low in terms of technical level – there is nothing technical in the book and you do not need any Big Data knowledge to read it. From time to time some terms pop up and if you are interested, please further study them from other resources. Even for sections 3 and 6 described above, they are merely highly conceptual descriptions how things are done.

To conclude, it is a pleasure read. I did get a couple of inspirations from the book and I would recommend it to people who somehow think they are interested in Big Data but don’t know where to start. Read it and understand how Big Data is useful in various areas. You will be amazed how powerful it is.

One thought on “Book review: Big Data in Practice: How 45 Successful Companies Used Big Data Analytics to Deliver Extraordinary Results

Add yours

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Powered by WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: