According to 2014 IDG Enterprise Big Data Research, the average investment enterprises plan to make in big data initiatives in 2014 is $8 million. Also, 49% respondents are already implementing big data projects or have plans to implement them in the future. Businesses have realized the importance of leveraging big data and converting it into actionable business intelligence. With most data being created and stored by organizations in digital form, it’s making perfect sense to evaluate and analyze this data to make better management decisions. Another area where such data scores, is that it improves preemptive decision making through sophisticated predictive analysis. Big data also allows businesses to come up with products or services tailored to meet the precise needs and requirements of their target customers, resulting in better profits.
With such benefits on the table, it’s no wonder that businesses are queuing up to maximize the potential of big data to improve market share and encourage product and service innovation. But for this to happen, businesses need to first stop believing the prevalent myths surrounding big data and only then start prioritizing the processing of large business data sets and making sense of them.
Sorting out the myths will help you separate all the hype from the actual reality of what big data brings to the table. This will help you move forward in 2014. Apart from debunking myths there are 5 tips that I believe will help you optimize the use big data this year, take a look:
- Move Big Data Out of the IT SiloThis mistaken belief that big data is primarily an IT driven activity and it’s just the IT teams that are responsible for collating and evaluating digital transactional data should be done away with. Big data shouldn’t be seen purely from the information technology perspective; you can only make it work for you if all parts of your business are able to draw meaningful executable insights from big data.
Take the case of big data and your marketing department. Access to demographic data allows marketers to enhance customer engagement by focusing on deeper segmentation. By getting faster and newer insights into their customers, they can predict customer behavior and future proof their marketing strategies.
- Focus on Separating Dirty and Clean DataBusinesses need to start separating the wheat from the chaff and understand that not all data is useful. Many organizations believe all you need to do to make sense of big data is implementing big data analytics platforms and start getting answers extracted from the given sets of complex data with the use of these tools.
But, it’s not as simple as that. The key to using data successfully is inferring the good from the bad. The emergence of advanced analytics now allows you to analyze granular data and transform the inferences into incisive knowledge. This year you need to institutionalize advanced analytics and merge it with your big data strategy.
It’s important to understand that actionable business intelligence doesn’t automatically follow big data; it’s the extraction and analysis of the right data that helps you capture real business value with big data.
- Predictive Analytics and Big DataBig data and mastering it for business growth is all well and good, but how well do you really understand your own product/s and its customers. Today, there are plenty of companies using predictive analysis based on big data to take business critical decisions. But they do not have a strategy in place to leverage the full potential of predictive analytics, this leads to wrong decision making.
First, understand how you want to make money by implementing a particular predictive model, work out its seamless deployment and identify all data that this model will have access to. Also, do not identify a collection of data sets and put it through the predictive analytics model hoping it will deliver answers that will help your business growth. The ideal way of making use of big data for predictive analysis is to zero in on the business process that you believe will deliver high ROI, if optimized. Once this is done, work out the data sets that are relevant to the process and start extracting relevant data points to convert into insightful information.
- Skill DevelopmentIf you want to realize the potential of big data, it is vital to keep improving the skill sets of its users. There is a need to up the ante on crucial analytics skill development through focused training and you need to channelize your energies in this direction. James Goodnight, the CEO of SAS, makes no bones about the fact that skills shortage is the biggest problem for analytics.
Your business’s focus in 2014 should be on helping employees become comfortable with the prospect of big data and training them in the use of the analytics platforms being used by your business. With organizations struggling to hire the right kind of big data specialists, it’s imperative that a large part of your business’s big data activities in 2014 focus on hiring the right people, and putting in place an ongoing training and development program that will help improve your employee skill sets, which in turn will allow you to optimize the use of big data.
Organizations are all set to have an exciting time of it with big data which will lead to smarter decision making, innovative business practices and crafting a competitive advantage for their business. But this will only happen if you are able to capitalize on the use of big data. Hopefully these tips will help you do just that. What do you think?