I recently facilitated the Big Data track for the EyeForTransport (EFT) Conference last month. As part of that conference, I emphasized the need for Big Data initiatives to be very intentional in their focus and execution. I also outlined three main success drivers: (1) recognizing that the road to success is a journey, (2) following 5 steps that increase the chances of success and (3) using other company case studies and their financial wins to build organizational momentum. This posting will address the first point.
There are three stages of adoption for business users to master Big Data. It is important to recognize this fact very early in the process. I often have conversations with customers who feel that they need to focus on getting the most out of their Big Data initiative as quickly as possible. This mindset can be detrimental. It can set expectations that later do not materialize and therefore the overall effort loses credibility. However, the smart approach is to establish that the company will incrementally build on Big Data opportunities with each stage in the journey providing significant value.
Let’s elaborate. One of the initial benefits of mastering Big Data is to provide operational insights that you just could not get before. Said another way, “discovering what you don’t know.” This is why it is so important to focus first stage activities on intentionally enabling business user to learn as much as they can through discovery. Using these insights to make informed decisions yields more effective strategies which of course builds organizational support for your Big Data initiative.
Knowing that you will continue to have these insights will naturally question if certain business processes could be modified to continually take advantage of this new knowledge. This provides additional opportunities to improve company performance. Over time, questions will begin to surface on the “go to market” approach for running the business which will drive innovation. All three phases offer significant value and continue to build internal momentum.
Mastering Big Data is a journey. Recognizing that point and continually reinforcing this message to your organization is essential. We would appreciate hearing your thoughts and comments.
All the best, Richard
Richard Sharpe is CEO of Competitive Insights, LLC (CI), a founding officer of the American Logistics Aid Network(ALAN) and designated by DC Velocityas a Rainmaker in the industry. For the last 25 years, Richard has been passionate about driving business value through the adoption of process and technology innovations. His current focus is to support CI’s mission to enable companies to gain maximum value through specific, precise and actionable insights across the organization for smarter growth. CI delivers Enterprise Profit Insights (EPI) solutions that enable cross-functional users to increase and protect profitability. Prior to his current role, Richard was President of CAPS Logistics, the forerunner of supply chain optimization. Richard is a frequent speaker at national conferences and leading academic institutions. His current focus is to challenge executives to improve their company’s competitive position by turning enterprise wide data from a liability to an asset through the use of applied business analytics.