Teradata chief big on data analytics

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Teradata chief big on data analytics


Oh Byung-joon of Teradata Korea, at his office in Sangam-dong, northern Seoul, sees data analytics as a key to staying competitive. By Park Sang-moon

Oh Byung-joon, country manager of Teradata Korea, says big data is an essential tool in advancing companies’ marketing and strategic competitiveness.

Teradata is a company that has focused only on providing analytic data platforms, marketing and analytic applications, and consulting services to businesses for the past 35 years.

When there was a need for a data warehouse in the late 1980s in Korea, the company was the first to provide that service to banks, telecommunications carriers and credit card companies.

“Simply put, we specialize in improving companies’ competitiveness by analyzing big data,” said Oh.

Q. Why has “big data” become a buzzword?

A. Many consultants often say, “Big data is just data.” It means that big data is neither new nor different from existing data. There has always been a demand among businesses to store clients’ data and analyze it so they can reflect it in their business strategies. However, the major obstacle was cost.

In recent years, however, storing data has become less expensive. For instance, the program Hadoop, developed by Yahoo, is open-source software for storage and large-scale processing of data sets on clusters of commodity hardware that anyone can use. As the cost for space to store data declined and related open-source software was developed, the concept of big data looked promising to companies hoping to analyze all the data they had stored. It has been only four to five years since big data has been analyzed for commercial use.

What is the difference between companies such as Boston Consulting and McKinsey & Company and analytic data-consulting services?

Boston Consulting and McKinsey consult on more fundamental business strategies such as mergers and acquisitions, and changes in product lines. Teradata consults with clients about how to analyze data and apply what is learned in marketing and promotional activities.

In the late 1980s, we focused on an information warehouse and later it evolved into making predictions using the data. In the mid-1990s, so-called data mining was prevalent and was used to predict customer churn - mostly at credit card and telecommunications companies - by developing hypotheses based on the data. We created a churn analysis model that identifies customers who may break away within three months. Companies then can devise special customer management, marketing and business strategies for the customers they want to retain.

What is the current trend in big data?

There are three “V’s” that drive big data: velocity, variety and volume. Volume refers to the amount of data increasing tenfold in the past 10 years as companies use the Web and mobile transactions. Velocity is about the speed of data inflow through social network services. Variety means the data has diversified from a fixed type of names and bank accounts to include photos, videos, music and text people upload on the Internet and social networks.

Customers react to campaigns and promotions in real-time as well as to coupons they receive from social commerce companies such as Coupang and GMarket.

What we do is analyze data of online interactions within 24 hours since people react to those promotions.

Which solution is best suited for Korean market?

In the Korean market, the best solution is one that provides the business insights managers want easily and quickly. In an economy that has slowed, the key is to sustain marginal growth. Companies have to provide more customer-friendly services and products by analyzing internal and external data. In that sense, we have the patented Aster Data System, which can analyze big data stored in Hadoop 10 times faster than the current process. We acquired it in 2011 and most companies are trying to adopt it as a platform.

In addition, big data analytics is needed for chief marketing officers who must demonstrate that strategies reflect the market and find ways to improve the efficiency of marketing budgets. Software for marketing resource management is required and Teradata provides it.

Also, the Unified Data Architecture system for businesses that use a data warehouse, Hadoop and discovery platforms separately is useful for big data analytics in a unified environment.

Who is using your services in Korea?

Our clients are mainly in the banking, telecommunications and retail industries. In Korea, large banks such as Shinhan Bank, Standard Chartered Cheil Bank and Woori Bank, and large retail groups such as Shinsegae and Lotte, as well as mobile carrier KT, are clients. We have about 30 clients in Korea. We also are consulting for Korea’s large manufacturers. We recently advised a company about pre-loaded apps on a smartphone based on data analytics of the most popular apps. The National Health Insurance Service filed a lawsuit against four domestic and foreign tobacco companies including KT&G this year based on data analytics proving health problems are caused by smoking.

KT also is using our platform in analyzing call data every day and profitability per customer.

BY KIM JUNG-YOON [kjy@joongang.co.kr]

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