I’ve Incorporated Big Data—Now What?
It’s Monday, and you have a 10 a.m. meeting with your team. As soon as everyone settles into their seats, you stand up, pump your fist in the air, and proclaim, “Our team officially uses big data!” You’re met with uproarious applause and a hearty pat on the back, because everyone around you knows just how hot big data is right now.
You’ve officially jumped aboard the hype-train and set your sights on the future—but now what?
It’s easy to say something like, “We’re agile from here on out” or “Let’s start saying DevOps in meetings more often,” but without an actual game plan for how you’re going to use something like big data, simply incorporating it into your current culture doesn’t do much.
When looking at big data, Forbes sees it as little more than potential rather than a solution. Of course, all of this nearly limitless information is important, but it’s big analysis that’s the finished product. We can store all the data we want, but we need to be able to analyze this information and put it to use in a way that actually benefits people in order to be successful.
How do we do that, though? Of course, the means by which this data is interpreted and put to use varies from company to company, but it’s important to note that we are, as a whole, getting better at it. Social habits, demographics, and other scattered bits of intel are being used to tailor experiences to certain groups and, more specifically, certain people.
Now, that’s not always a good thing—it’s difficult to avoid feeling a bit uneasy with that much personal information in the hands of others. But what we’ve continued to see are improved projects that fulfill our particular needs and not some generalized issue. Big data helps to provide a full, 360-degree view of the customer, and that makes for a better experience.
Plenty of companies are analyzing big data and creating solutions that wouldn’t have been possible without dipping into the data well. Real-time “people analytics” from hiQ, hotel optimization to create tailored searches from Duetto, finding cures to diseases through Ayasdi—organizations both big and small are doing grand things by taking the applicable data from their storehouses and putting it to use.
And that’s what’s critical here—we need to actually do something with big data. Having all this deep, detailed, and diverse information is wonderful, but without the ability and understanding of how to analyze it, your big data strategy won’t be able to get off the ground.