Is there any business that has not heard about big data solutions and the benefits they could bring? It would seem that every organization worth its salt had seen the potentials of big data and is either currently planning on setting up its big data solutions or maintaining it.
Gartner reported in September 2015 that more than 3 out of every 4 companies are planning to invest within the next two years or are currently investing in big data solutions. Gartner also noted that the rapid rate of increase is more pronounced for that year than in previous years. The survey asked more than 400 clients and non-clients of the research firm.
Gartner pointed out that there are several reasons why companies are looking into big data, and these include improving customer experience, cutting costs, streamlining the processes that they are currently using, and having a more targeted marketing.
Gartner also contended that big data solutions are no longer in that stage where people are trying to find out if the hype is true, but are already finding value in big data services.
If you are one of those enterprises that are now looking into big data, how can you make sure that you are getting the most out of the data you have and how do you make sure that you can get the most out of the insights?
1. Find any bottlenecks in your big data and get rid of these.
What most companies currently do is hire a small team of data scientists who would be going over the data they have, then leave it to this team to process and analyze the data, and create a report for their different departments.
As you can imagine, this strategy can be time-consuming and by the time the report is sent to the department or individual responsible for acting on whatever is written on the report, the data and the insights you may have gotten from this may already be stale and obsolete.
A better strategy would be to find ways to encourage all your employees to become their own data enthusiast. You will still have your team of data scientists, but your employees will be able to access and use the data they need to do their jobs.
In order to do this, you can get a big data consulting or data analytics consulting professional to help make data easier to understand. Enable everybody in your organization to analyze data without being a data scientist. Get software that enables your employees to access and use data easily, such as a business intelligence software that also allows them to collaborate when making decisions about a particular data.
2. Ask questions that you never even intended to ask.
Big data solutions can help you get the answers regarding your business and the insights you need. But you will never get the most out of your big data services when you focus on just asking the questions you already have in mind. For example, most businesses are sure to ask about their most valuable markets and their most profitable segments.
To discover new questions to ask, you should look at different places. One good source is the current insights you have. For example, seeing that one segment is giving you a lot of sales, you should try to find out what this segment offers. If you unexpectedly discover that an Italian bakery is one of your top customers, you could look into the buying trends of that Italian bakery, as well as all other bakeries. Then use big data solutions to find out if you have an untapped Italian market that you have not noticed before.
Look at your data in a different way, too. Look for unexpected patterns in your reports. Look for similarities as well. For instance, now that you have identified a previously neglected top customer, check to see what similarities this Italian bakery has with your other customers.
3. Be sure to collaborate.
As with any business initiative, teamwork is vital when you implement big data solutions. One department or individual asking questions regarding your data will get answers, but collaborating with other departments and individuals might get you better answers and solutions. Make your data analysis a team effort between your employees and your team of data scientists. This will help your employees become data enthusiasts and they might even pick up a skill or two from the professional data scientists you employ.
Conversely, working with your employees will help your data scientists gain more insights into your marketing, HR, sales, and operations, allowing them to understand and know what types of data are useful for each department and how to better come up with reports that are timely and easy to understand.
The quality of questions that a collaborative team would be able to come up with will also be a lot better than the questions asked by one department or one individual. And the good news is that it is pretty easy to use tools that facilitate collaboration, such as Microsoft Teams, Slack, and Facebook Workplace.
However, before you encourage collaboration, you should be able to work with data consulting services or professionals in order to have a data governance policy in place. This will help ensure that the quality of your data remains top-notch.
Four Cornerstone can help you manage your big data services and can make sure that you get the most out of your investment. We have a team of experts who can act as your big data consulting partner and even help you with data consulting services. We can even set up the right tools, the big data solutions you need, the business intelligence software and everything else that you require to get ahead in big data.
All you need is to call us at +1 (817) 377-1144 or fill out our contact form and tell us about your big data solutions and plans. It is that easy to hire us as your big data consulting partner.
Photo courtesy of Kevin Krejci.