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Geospatial, big data will be used more strategically in 2013: Google

2012 showed that the "consumerisation of IT" trend is no longer just changing the workplace culture of start-ups and small businesses. They are also leading some businesses to dabble with the Cloud.

That is according to Google APAC enterprise managing director, Doug Farber, who also saw big companies from various industries dabble with the Cloud this year. "Australian big businesses across a broad range of industries, such as Fairfax Media and Woolworths supermarkets, are moving to Cloud based tools like Google Apps for Business because they facilitate more mobile, social and collaborative styles of work," he said.

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Farber said this is happening because businesses have come to the conclusion that they need to "be more global and move much faster," and the way to do that is make use of the Cloud.

Beyond the continued growth of Cloud, mobile and social technologies in the workplace, Farber also expects to see an increased use of geospatial data and big data set crunching for more strategic decision making.

In the past, geospatial analysis may have been an expensive and highly specialised area, as there were normally only one or two people within organisations that knew how to use the systems, but Farber says these technologies are now "more accessible from a cost and a usability perspective."

"Now basically anyone who knows how to use Google Maps or Google Earth can use these tools," he said.

"This is allowing companies from real estate to retailers to utilities to media to better use location based information in making business decisions."

Getting on the big data bus

When it comes to finding patterns in large data sets quickly, creating new analytics products and building business analysis tools, Farber said businesses also have access to tools such as Google BigQuery.

Farber points to an online travel agency in India, redBus, that made use of BigQuery to introduce Internet bus ticketing that unified tens of thousands of bus schedules into a single booking system.

"They then crunch terabytes of booking and inventory data so they can give a full picture of what is happening with buses in India in seconds," he said.

"We're looking forward to putting this kind of computing power in more people's hands."


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