How to Prepare Your Organization for Big Data Demands
Immense opportunity awaits businesses ready to summit the mountain of Big Data. Once you make it to the top, there’s gold in them thar hills, but the journey takes careful preparation. Is your organization ready?
In this post, we’ll help you find out—we’ll equip you for the climb—and even provide a handy MAP for how to prepare. So, let’s head over to base camp and review the FOUR fundamental building blocks to any Big Data utilization plan.
To capture the big opportunity of Big Data, you first must:
- Target the business functions where you can drive improvement.
- Identify where you’ll require some data management or analytics help.
- Establish guidelines for how you collect, manage and share data.
- Evaluate the symmetrical flow of data from network to cloud to servers.
Now, grab your pack and come with us. We’ve got experts on each step to walk you through what’s needed. Take a seat there in the snow; here’s a cup of cocoa. Open up your map, let’s get started:
TARGET INVESTMENT AREAS
The first step in prepping for this journey is to determine where Big Data can help most. For some ideas of what you might like to target, let’s look at the latest IDG Big Data Enterprise survey, which reports that enterprises will spend on average $8M this year on Big Data-related initiatives. What do they hope to target?
Top Goals Driving Big Data Investments:
- Improve the quality of the decision-making process (59%)
- Increase the speed of decision-making (53%)
- Improve planning and forecasting (47%) and
- Develop new products/services and revenue streams (47%)
Top Big Data Investment Initiatives:
- Storage (49%)
- Servers (47%)
- Cloud infrastructure (44%)
- Discovery and analytics (43%)
- Applications (42%)
Your direction: Work with stakeholders across your company to discuss and determine goals; zero in on business functions where Big Data Business Intelligence can drive improvement and enhance effectiveness most.
IDENTIFY CAPABILITY GAPS
After identifying where you’d like to target your Big Data efforts, you NEED to size up your current skill set. Where could partners improve data management and analytics for you? One such partner, the global Big Data Analytics company PROS stresses that “Big Data only matters if it results in better outcomes, not just better insights.”
Your path: Know that most valuable and measurable outcomes are those associated with sales growth, profitability and competitive positioning. Find partners you can trust to supplement or augment capabilities where needed to deliver on defined objectives.
ESTABLISH RULES FOR DATA
You’ve got data everywhere. With the 3Vs exploding (Volume, Variety, Velocity) it’s important to get your disparate data under control. 44% of companies still don’t have a data governance policy according to a recent survey, putting them at risk of losing data, losing control and track of data, and lawsuits. Don’t be one of them.
Your route: Set enterprise-wide processes for managing data archiving, backup and e-discovery. Determine how you will share, collect, use and manage data. Take a cross-functional approach, anticipate delays, and be proactive with employees who can be resistant to process change. Help teams adjust to adding Big Data analytics into day-to-day decision making through training and process sharing across teams.
INTEGRATION TIP: When employees ask WHY? Offer success stories, like this one from PROS: One large chemical manufacturer with declining revenue, recognized a series of unaligned business processes. Its planning department used Big Data to shape a new demand curve for where to ship products to better satisfy customer needs. Through data science, they identified prescriptive pricing guidance for the sales team, and revenue increased by $200 million—and that was just in year one!
“The faster insights can be extracted, the more relevant and compelling the resulting decisions can be,” says Michael Masterson, Compuware Corp’s Director of Solution Strategy. “Big Data must be fast. Most data has a relatively short half-life, one of the reasons businesses previously discarded it.”
Your course: Ensure you have the right network, data-centric technology, and partners to enable symmetrical flow of data between its servers, your business network and the cloud.