big data feels like small dataAs a developer, you may often feel like you are stuck in a reactive, problem-solving mode that can be a bit monotonous. If you’re looking for a few new ways to showcase your talents and add significant contributions to your company and your department, here’s a proactive project that you can undertake.

Line-of-business managers know that there is a plethora of data out there that they can use. However, they often are so overwhelmed by the sheer volume of it that they can’t find the important nuggets that may be right in front of them. This is where you can make use of your expertise and help them optimize the use of Big Data by making it feel small and manageable.

Finding new value not yet realized in Big Data

To get a quick win with the line-of-business managers in your company, here are a few things you can do to help them drive significant value from Big Data.

Step #1: Map data to the primary experience of the end customers. First things first – put the customer first.  Take some time to understand the major touch points in the customer’s experience with your company and prioritize the most critical ones.  For instance, a retailer might consider promotions, point-of-sale, customer service channels, and loyalty programs as the critical touch points. Find out what those are for your company and then locate where the data they create resides. You can then use those data sets as focus areas for development initiatives.

Step #2: Segment the data into business functions. Now that you have the customer-critical data sets, take into account that customer data has different value to different parts of your organization. Finance might want to know about certain data points that are meaningless to other parts of the organization, such as manufacturing or customer relations. You can segment data into smaller subsets based on what’s most important to each functional area of the company. This will start the process of uncovering unique insights that have not yet been recognized, and help you gain quickly gain support for your initiative from these line-of-business managers.

Step #3: Meet with business managers. Now that the data sorted into smaller increments, you can meet with business managers and brainstorm with them as to how to make use of it in unique ways. This proactive step may help the managers solve problems that previously had no answer, or it may help bring innovation to processes that were staid and ineffective. And because of your proactive approach, you will be highlighting the value that you can bring to the business.

Step #4: Define a “pet project.” Once an area has been defined for exploration, you can work with the managers to turn the conceived idea into a project that could inevitably contribute new value to the company’s bottom line. It may be as simple as building a new app that promotes the cross selling of slow-moving products, or a new interface for a process that will speed up the supply chain.

A replicable process made better by the right technology

Collectively, these four steps form a repeatable process that you can leverage throughout your organization in almost every area of the business. To make it easier and more effective, however, it’s important for you to have the right tools.

You want to make sure you have access to technology, such as in-memory computing, so you’ll have the power and speed you’ll need for this type of project. You’ll also want the right database and analytical tools for sorting and manipulating huge volumes of Big Data to derive the greatest value. Tools for building both mobile and cloud applications are important as well.

With all of this in place, you can provide real-time analysis for better decision making and greater insights – and prove you are a valuable contributor to the company’s bottom line.

A great place to start is at the ASUG pre-conference session at SAP TechEd && d-code.  Register Here:

http://scn.sap.com/community/events/sap-d-code/blog/2014/07/28/announcing-asug-sap-teched-d-code-pre-conference-sessions


Learn more about how you can make the most out of Big Data, and get information on developer tools for the SAP HANA platform, in-memory computing, and cloud and mobile applications.

Explore SAP HANA for Developers

Originally posted to the SAP Business Innovation Blog.  View the original post here.

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