Four Steps to Unlocking Big Data Value

Today’s businesses are struggling to turn the unprecedented amount of data flowing at them from all directions into actionable insights. Established software solutions, which have been around since the 70s, are just not engineered to cope with the data deluge. That’s why many organisations have yet to harness big data – they don’t have the tools to take advantage of it. This problem will only get worse as data volumes continue to mount. Businesses that fail to embrace big data as an opportunity stand to be left behind by those that do. The power of data-informed strategic decisions will fuel competitors forward.

But what is the first step of the analytics journey? How do we move from the static reports of the 70s to dynamic, analytics-enabled business processes we must adopt to survive and thrive in the Age of Data?

1. Start small: Which areas of your business operations are most data-intensive – areas where you either have lots of data, or where you have the potential to add data feeds? Start by identifying one problem that can be easily solved with big data analytics and get a quick victory. You will build credibility within your organisation and gain the momentum you need to address enterprise-wide problems with big data analytics.

2. Identify the desired business outcome: According to Gartner, 50% of Hadoop implementations have no defined value proposition.To be successful on your analytics journey, you should follow Stephen Covey’s advice and begin with the end in mind. Are you aiming to improve customer relationships? Improve risk analysis? Find new sources of revenue for your company? Before you invest time and money into a big data analytics initiative, first determine your desired business outcome, then build your strategy and data architecture to help you meet your goal.

3. Foster a data culture: In some industries like healthcare, organisations discard 90% of the data they generate. Game-changing data is simply flowing down the drain. Why? Because for too long, organisations haven’t had the resources to effectively capture and store the data, much less analyse it. With the advent of next-generation technologies like Hadoop, this is no longer an issue. These days, it may be MORE EXPENSIVE to discard data than it is to keep it. It’s imperative that we create a culture that reveres data and makes data analytics an integral part of every business decision.

4. Find good partners: We’re in an interesting time when technology is evolving at a pace never seen before. Not many organisations have the internal resources on hand to create and operate effective big data analytics workflows. Find a partner that is dedicated to enabling you to be successful in every stage of your analytics journey. One that will help you embrace your current investments and work with you to build processes that won’t require hard-to-find, specialised skillsets that run the risk of becoming outmoded in a manner of months.

Companies are struggling to maximise the returns from their big data investments as they are often unaware of the new methodologies and data sources that provide timely and accurate insights that could materially improve their business processes and help them make more informed decisions. At Actian, we are dedicated to providing companies with analytics roadmaps designed to address the most vexing business challenges and maximise data analytics investments so they can achieve data-driven business decision-making nirvana.

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