Big Data from 2014 CPA Congress


Presenters on Big Data at the 2014 CPA Congress in Australia suggest that Big Data is not just big – it’s getting faster and more efficient.  The latest edition of In The Black, the regular publication for CPA Australia, the Certified Public Accountants’ professional organisation in Australia, recently ran a story on ten smart plays with Big Data.

The article, by Brad Howarth, was the result of several presenters’ papers given at the 2014 CPA Australia Congress. According to Howarth, we “… live in the age of Big Data, where billions of transactions and interactions are now collectable. With the help of sophisticated algorithms, firms are finding ways of using this date to better target existing and future clients, to make money or to save it …”

He suggests that one of the primary uses of Big Data is to derive insight from patterns of data. It can be used by on-line marketers “… to encourage more customers to self-serve via the web.”

“Big Data can be used in marketing to predict what a customer might buy next, ” Howarth says. “Information on current customers can be used to target the acquisition of new profitable customers.”

Big Data isn’t just big – it is also fast for humans and machines. As Howarth says “…one of the breakthroughs of the data age is the ability for machines to learn based on the outcomes they witness.” Howarth’s article outlines that, “…one of the fastest growing segments of Big Data is machine data, generated by websites, applications, servers, networks, sensors, mobile devices and more. This massive amount of data contains a record of transaction activity, system behaviour, security threats and fraudulent activity.”

Further details on the 2014 CPA Congress Big Data conference papers, are available via this embedded link: Big data CPA conference 2014


Howarth, Brad (2014) ‘10 smart plays with Big Data’, 2014 CPA Congress, In The Black, December 2014, pp. 58-60.

This article was published on 16 January 2015, Canberra.

Text copyright Fiona Rothchilds 2015 other than acknowledge sources and citations.