Making the case for big data

big data

Big data. Two little words that sum up an overwhelming – and often mindboggling – promise for business insights.

But information doesn’t need to be supersized to spur insights or drive decisions. It just needs to be accessible – and actionable. The point of entry to meet those objectives? Go digital, says market research firm IDC.

In Big Data and ECM: Making Smarter Decisions, IDC touted digitizing business processes as the first step to jumping on the big data bandwagon – a market that accounted for $11 billion in spend in 2013 (and that will more than double by 2016).

But while projected to vacuum up the big bucks, big data isn’t yet widely understood, including how it complements other IT initiatives like enterprise content management (ECM).

What is big data?
According to IDC, big data is “a new generation of technologies and architectures that are designed to economically extract value from very large volumes of a wide variety of data by enabling high-velocity capture, discovery and/or analysis.”

The goal of big data, in plain English? To collect, connect and analyze information for better decision-making.

Where does ECM fit in?
Are ECM systems big data applications in and of themselves? IDC says no.

But ECM has a supporting role in this space:

  1. Managing both documents and data, ECM systems make valuable information accessible to big data applications
  2. Providing a platform for process improvement, ECM can leverage learning from big data analytics to create smart process applications and drive informed actions and activities

A basis for cases
IDC points to case management applications, or what Forrester refers to as smart process applications (SPAs), as a key use case for the intersection between ECM and big data. Case management covers areas like contract management, claims processing, fraud investigations, employee onboarding and overall process control.

Powered largely by human discretion and collaboration, these knowledge-driven processes benefit from the structure, control and content-rich features of ECM and the detailed insights gathered from big data applications. Together, these technologies create an even greater opportunity for smarter decisions, better outcomes and improved customer service.

Supporting this stance, Forrester Research analyst Craig Le Clair stresses how big data can help SPAs determine – and workers take – the next best course of action, ultimately resulting in better outcomes.

Are you ready to make the case for big data in your organization?
Learn more by downloading the full IDC whitepaper. Also check out AIIM whitepaper The Big Data Balancing Act for more about unlocking your data and putting it to good use.

To discover how OnBase supports case management, knowledge work and collaborative business processes, visit

In her more than 10 (wonderful) years at Hyland, Amanda Ulery has taken on the mission of sharing the business value of Hyland solutions with anyone who will listen. The proud manager of the product marketing team, she has a background in integrated marketing, the stubborn focus (and eye for detail) of an ex-journalist and the goal of helping the world realize how Hyland solutions can truly transform the way we work.
Amanda Ulery

Amanda Ulery

In her more than 10 (wonderful) years at Hyland, Amanda Ulery has taken on the mission of sharing the business value of Hyland solutions with anyone who will listen. The... read more about: Amanda Ulery