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TIBCO CTO: Seeing the Value in Data

T.C. Seow | Dec. 9, 2014
By focusing on value, companies are less likely to lose direction in their data journey, says Kevin Pool, CTO for Asia, TIBCO.

Kevin Pool, CTO, Asia, TIBCO
Photo: Kevin Pool, CTO, Asia, TIBCO.

As TIBCO CTO for the Asia region, Kevin Pool has met with a large number of enterprises to discuss their objectives, challenges and strategies. One key aspect of his role is to help educate them on what is possible, and to help them define strategic roadmaps to help transform their organisations and to leverage new capabilities and technologies. In an exclusive interview, Pool talked about big data, analytics and why organisations may be focussing on the wrong things in their pursuit for analytical success.

Question: In a recent presentation, you talked about fast data instead of big data. How different is this, compared to say, business or predictive analytics to improve on decision-making?

Kevin Pool: Today it is possible to process large amounts of information and produce results in real-time. Modern organisations will embrace this new reality and will adapt their processes to achieve real-time data access. I talked about the importance of big data, analytics, and predictive analytics. The challenge is to make it more "real-time". This doesn't have to be instantaneously available all at once. It's about a little bit of information before you need the full report, versus getting all the information much later. That will allow organisations to respond and adapt to fast changing business requirements and market conditions out there.

But to be able to implement fast data and realise the potential there, wouldn't you require people with new skills?

A little bit. You will find people who have database-oriented type of mentality and for them, information access is all about feeding data into a database and then run some queries to churn out some reports. Now, instead of having information pushed to you, business wants it now. Going back to what I've mentioned earlier, the business has been constrained by legacy systems that could not allow them to respond to the market fast enough. The business gets it, and they understand the value. They understand this competitive advantage.

Our founder, Vivek Ranadivé, wrote a book titled "The Two-Second Advantage: How We Succeed by Anticipating the Future – Just Enough". In it, he talked about how in sports, in politics, and in many other arenas, the people that win are those who are one step ahead of the competition. The basketball or football player who's just a step ahead gets that competitive advantage. And so, by doing things a little faster, you get competitive advantage over your competition. Likewise, if you don't do that, you're one step behind. If you see how quickly things change nowadays in the marketplace, a company that has that advantage can rise very quickly. And companies that think they're at the top might just lose that lead very quickly too.


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