Big data. Over the past few months, this term has become all the rage in the business world. But, does it deliver real results and opportunity? Or is this just hype to sell more software and services?
Whether created within or outside your data center, some executives and analysts are starting to see its inherent value: gaining insights that no other competitor has. But there are others who are still quite skeptical.
For example, Greg Szwartz, Director of Deloitte, believes that although big data may provide “game-changing insights,” it is impractical to believe that the average business can undertake the effort needed to analyze large volumes of data. In fact, it is a battle to analyze the data they already have.
However, Gartner analyst Mark Beyer believes there can be no such thing as too much data. Big data is simply a fundamental shift in the way data is viewed. If firms don’t gain control over this massive amount of information, they will miss out on an opportunity that can help them beat the competition and grow.
Before you write off big data as just the trend of the moment, the article “Big data: all you need to know” has outlined five questions that every executive should ask themselves:
- What do you wish you knew? Decide what you want to find out from big data that you can’t get from your existing systems.
- What are your data assets? Determine if you can cross-reference this data to produce insights and build new data products on top of them. If you can’t do this, explore what you need to accomplish this.
- What is the most valuable opportunity for using big data techniques and technology? Prepare a business case for a proof of concept, keeping in mind the skill sets you’ll need. Talk to the owners of the data assets to get the full picture and build a team of advocates.
- Can you prove what benefits Big Data will bring to your business? Start the proof of concept. Also, make sure that there’s a clear end point so that you can evaluate what the proof of concept has achieved.
- Are you getting real insights delivered? Once your proof of concept has been completed, evaluate whether it worked. Find out if your concept is yielding real results and if it could be extended to other parts of your organization. Plus, see if other data could be included. By knowing how far you can take your big data initiative, you’ll soon realize whether you should expand, change, or scrap your implementation.