Leveraging consumer app information for business data analytics

Mar 04, 2015

2015-03-04 App Information.jpgToday’s companies are all about big data: Collecting it, analyzing it and leveraging it to make positive changes within the organization. Big data can come from a wide range of places, including historical statistics, social media interactions and nearly any other source that business leaders can think of.

While this practice comes with its own set of benefits – namely, the illumination of previously unseen insights – it also has its fair share of challenges. In fact, recent research from Gartner showed that enterprises may be unprepared to deal with the influx of information coming from consumer-facing applications.

Handling a rising amount of data
According to MSPmentor, Gartner predicted that by next year, the majority of applications will sync, gather and analyze an increasing amount of personal information from users and their mobile activities. This will result in a new set of challenges for the corporate sector as they work to leverage these statistics within their business data analytics strategies.

Gartner research director Roxane Edjlali noted that currently, many companies do not include the personal information collected by applications as part of their overarching business data analytics infrastructure.

“Consequently, although this data is access and potentially stored in support of an app, it is not managed as a full ‘citizen’ of an enterprise’s information infrastructure,” Edjlali said.

However, as this content could contain a wealth of actionable insight, it is critical to factor it into the equation. For this reason, administrators must institute better management of the information being collected by their company’s consumer-facing apps.

“Organizations should plan to manage information across cloud and on-premises implementations, as combining all data on the premises or on a single repository is no longer viable,” Edjlali noted. “It is important to understand the service-level agreements for various use cases that access mobile app data, and adapt the information capability accordingly.”

Business data analytics challenge: More personally sensitive information
However, as enterprises work to make the most of the data they collect from consumer apps, decision-makers must be able to draw the line between acceptable and unacceptable utilization of this information, Edjlali said. Network World pointed out that today’s applications are gathering an increasing level of sensitive, personal data from users which could create security and privacy risks for firms’ business data analytics initiatives.

For example, the biometric and fitness information taken from wearable devices – which will constitute 50 percent of all mobile app interactions by 2017 – could affect a patient’s future.

“Even anonymized, this data could have [a] major impact on people’s ability to get adequate health insurance, if they are identified as belonging to a risk category,” Edjlali noted.

When it comes to the increasingly personal information of app users, the bottom line for business data analytics is that decision-makers are careful about what data they leverage and how this content is used. Although some groups may want to collect and analyze everything they can get their hands on, improved management is key. Companies should only gather data for analysis that has a clear connection to the enterprise and its goals. This approach will not only address users’ privacy issues, but will ensure that the organization isn’t sitting on an enormous database that may go underutilized.

Category: Data Security