“If you use bad quality data to make decisions, the insights will be meaningless.” – Florence La Carbona: Enterprise Data Manager at TAL.
Good data is good for business. You can have a vast amount it, and the technical experts to analyse it, but that still doesn’t mean you’ll get the answers you need.
Here’s how to make Big Data work for your business in 6 steps.
#1 – DEFINE YOUR PURPOSE
“Big Data can be a lot like spring cleaning. You can come across a lot of ‘stuff’ you don’t really need, but you still have to dig into it. So where do you start?” – TechRepublic.
In a world saturated with ever-increasing data and information, it’s important to recognise what’s relevant and what isn’t. The best way to do this is to make sure the data you’re using is aligned with the use case at hand.
“Good data quality always depends on the context in which it is used.” – bi-survey.com
Picking the right use case involves clearly defining your business outcomes. What are you trying to achieve with Big Data Analytics?
“The Business outcome will help the organisation stay focused on finding the right match for the business challenge. From there, they can clean and link only the most pertinent data.”- Yoni Malchi: Author at World Wide Technology.
#2 – IMPLEMENT THE RIGHT TOOLS
“Are ‘data-rich’ organisations really leveraging their data to support continuous improvement? To succeed at this they must provide user-friendly tools that turn what is often an overwhelming amount of data into actionable insights.” – Menno Veeneklaas & Tibor Schwartz: Partners In Performance.
Gone are the days where businesses struggled extract meaning from mass volumes of raw data and wait several days, even weeks, for results. New software tools have taken the pain out of the process involved in collecting and analysing data. Products like Hadoop, Pig, Hive and Spark allow you to create your own Big Data stack and build your own solution platform.
“New architectural concepts such as data lakes or technologies like Spark and Hadoop require enterprises to rethink their data pipelines, starting at the source where data is produced, to how it is transported and eventually stored and prepared for analysis.” – Kumar Srivastava: Contributor at TechCrunch.
#3 – BECOME A DATA DETECTIVE
“The more familiar you are with the data, the easier it is to spot something that seems strange. A good place to start is by looking at the raw data to see what jumps out.” – Matthew Peters: Research Scientist at Allen Institute of Artificial Intelligence.
Although it may seem like a dull task, taking the time to make sure you’re collecting the best data possible will give you a significant advantage when it comes to increasing your profitability and achieving your business goals.
“Working to make sure that your organisation has the most accurate data on its clients possible can seem quite tedious. However, software tools from providers make the process of collecting accurate data simple.” – Experian.
#4- KEEP TRACK OF YOUR PERFORMANCE
“Each key performance indicator should be defined to measure the quality, enhancement over time and ways in which to improve a specific set of data.” – Forbes.
The main purpose for implementing a Big Data Analytics strategy in any organisation is to see an improvement in performance by turning insights into solutions that drive competitive advantage.
It’s important to measure the performance of your data analytics project by measuring it against set objectives from its inception through to completion.
“Finding business intelligence in Big Data depends on identifying strong key performance indicators that deliver high value to the business.” – Mary Shacklett: Contributor at TechRepublic.
#5 – UNIFY YOUR DATA
“Demand is growing for analytics tools that seamlessly connect to and combine a wide variety of cloud-hosted data sources. Such tools enable businesses to explore and visualise any type of data stored anywhere, helping them discover hidden opportunity in their IoT investment.” – Tableau.
Data can tell you what you need to know, but only if you can see it clearly. By building a single source, 360-degree view of integrated data, your team can access and drive value from a cohesive analytic environment.
“A unified data architecture is a more comprehensive view of the overall enterprise architecture; a collection of services, platforms, applications, and tools that make the best use of available technologies to unleash the optimal value of data.” – tdwi.org.
#6 – START WITH PEOPLE, NOT TECHNOLOGY
“How do you harness the power of software-defined solutions, and how do you get yourself ready for the next phase of your business’ IT strategy?” – Logicalis.
Implementing Data Analytics doesn’t start with technology, it starts with people.
“How can the CIO and his team introduce big data into their workflow, and how can they translate what appears to be hieroglyphics to top-level executives in plain language?” – Aberdeen Essentials.
It all starts with knowledge. This involves de-mystifying the common buzz words around Big Data and Analytics, so that your team can communicate effectively about what you are trying to achieve. The second step is to approach Data Analytics in a way that’s relevant to your team.
“Ask questions about the pain points that people feel in their everyday jobs. This presents data analysis as the solution you know it can be, rather than the burden someone else may see it as. Approach your intent to get your office on board with data analysis as a way to make the team even stronger, and a way to empower each individual to do his or her job better, and to make better informed decisions.” – Kelli Simpson: Former Marketing Manager at DataHero.
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