Most companies are sitting on veritable gold mines of data. A lot of this data is a waste by product of daily operations. In fact, the bulk of the data is waste data to that particular organization. The big trick is to find who needs that data, package it and resell it, even if you resell it back to your organization.
I was chatting to a bank around forex trading recently. We were discussing my move into big data. The usual questions came up like “What is this big data thing?” “How will it help us?”. I decided to approach this from the structured data side. Here in South Africa we have FICA regulations (Financial Intelligence Centre Act) which dictates that in order for a bank to do business with an individual they must have certified proof of residence (electricity bill, rental agreements etc.) This bank was collecting this information under legal requirement but was not doing anything with it. My suggestion was to take this data and spatially tag it (convert it into rough GPS coordinates, accuracy is not critical) and correlate that information with the branches for which they already have the coordinates for. Using some basic techniques they could more efficiently decide where to open and close branches based on client density. There is a caveat that you get the end user’s home address and not necessarily their work address which may be more convenient. It starts giving you general information about your geographic spread.
I have already built basic system to do this type of analysis on data and will be setting up some tests to demo to clients. If you would like a demo, please drop me a mail at info_at_idix.co.za