Speaker Snapshot: Ranko Cosic, The University of Melbourne

We speak to Ranko Cosic about the challenges and opportunities within big data


Ahead of his presentation at the Big Data & Analytics Innovation Summit in Sydney on September 14 & 15, we spoke to Ranko Cosic, Guest Lecturer and Researcher (Business Analytics) at The University of Melbourne about the current challenges and opportunities within the sector.

Ranko is a Computing and Information Systems professional with over a decade of experience in the public and private sectors. Ranko is presently engaged in a cutting edge research project in the area of Analytics Capability Maturity and Development. As part of this project, Ranko is conducting case studies in collaboration with the London School of Economics and more than 300 high-level executives and analytics managers in over 130 leading organisations in Australia and abroad. Ranko’s research is published and is being applied by organisations in the top five in the world for retail, insurance, construction and professional services.

Innovation Enterprise: Do you think that the term 'big data' is still relevant?

Ranko: Yes, I do think the term ‘big data is still relevant for two reasons.

First, this is because rapid advances in Information and Communications Technology (ICT) are enabling organizations to collect and analyze increasingly larger volumes of data and I expect this trend to continue.

Second, in today’s highly dynamic and competitive business environments, there is a growing demand for fact-based insights to inform organizational strategy, decision-making, action, and innovation, which I expect will continue to make big data relevant now and in years to come.

What has been the key element that has pushed data use in business over the last few years?

For me, there are three key elements that go hand in hand.

More data-driven executives and managers with an appreciation and understanding of the value and benefit of big data and analytics.

The increasing abundance and sophistication of analytics and data visualization technology.

The growing demand for fact-based insights to inform organizational strategy, decision-making, action, and innovation.

How do you see the use of data changing in the next few years?

The way I see the use of data changing in the next few years is that, although organisations will continue to gather and analyse structured data stored in data warehouses, traditional and relational databases, there will be more focus on the gathering and analysis of unstructured data in the form of audio, images, music, text, video and interactive content from traditional and social media websites.

It is common to hear that there is a skills gap for data scientists, is this something you have found?

From what I have seen and heard, there is a skills gap for data scientists mainly because it is not easy for organizations to find practitioners with a solid foundation in computer science, analytics, mathematics and statistics, coupled with strong business acumen, that are comfortable with communicating and collaborating with IT and business leaders and stakeholders across the organisation.

Can data loss from the world's biggest companies, be prevented?

Yes, but with so many different IT security solutions available on the market, including data loss prevention software and cloud storage, the real challenge for the world’s biggest companies is choosing the solution that is right for them

You can see Ranko's presentation at the  Big Data and Analytics Innovation Summit in Sydney on September 14 & 15. 

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