Demonstrating Value: The Business Case for Big Data and Predictive Analytics

ST. LOUIS (February 25, 2016) – Information Technology (IT) leaders who clearly show the business value that Big Data and Predictive Analytics can deliver will find no shortage of projects for improving their companies. That was just one observation shared at a recent round table discussion at TDK Technologies, one of the leading IT consulting firms in the St. Louis region.

Dan Sherman (Director of Data and Analytics at Graybar) and Craig Hibbeler (Principal - Big Data & Security at MasterCard Advisors) shared success stories and advice with IT executives from a diverse group of regional industries that are in the initial stages of exploring the possibilities of Big Data.

Big Data Value Delivered in a Short Period of Time

Graybar, the St. Louis based industrial and electrical supply distributor, achieved significant results in its operations division just a few months after launching a Big Data initiative. Fleet management and asset utilization were some of the initial beneficiaries of using open source software solutions to extract patterns and predict trends from existing data sets.

“The ability to get people enthusiastic about identifying potential use cases has been really exciting for getting this practice off the ground,” Sherman said. “The biggest accomplishment so far is that we have enough evangelical push from people out in the company who have started coming to us with ways to use data that historically had not been considered.”

The Importance of Articulating Big Data ROI

The concept of handling large amounts of structured and unstructured data remains relatively new for many companies. Because of that, the panel agreed that executive level leadership that supports Big Data initiatives is essential, along with sponsoring partners who can clearly describe the returns that are possible from projects.

“Go big, to places where you can see some exceptional use cases and test the waters with it. Even if you don’t achieve that top level ‘change-the-world outcome’, what can be accomplished in between is pretty impressive,” Sherman said. “We did a simple customer-facing exercise using Hadoop where we took a million records and created a 12-field golden customer record in a matter of two or three weeks. That started to get people to see the value.”

The round table was facilitated by TDK Data Solutions Director Larry Steele and covered topics including creating a data-driven company culture, the importance of open source software applications, security and privacy concerns, and data governance.

About TDK Technologies

TDK Technologies, LLC is a Woman-owned Business Enterprise (WBE), established in 2001, with more than 100 team members located in the St. Louis metropolitan area.  TDK Technologies provides information technology based e-Commerce and business process and system solutions for businesses through either staff augmentation or outsourced solution delivery.  For more information about TDK Technologies - visit They can be reached at (636) 778-1404 or

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