In my past blog posting, I continued to highlight the need for Big Data initiatives to be very intentional in their focus and execution and suggested that there are three main success drivers. In this posting, I will address the second driver which is following 5 steps that increase the chances of success.
The five steps that will increase your chances for having successful Big Data initiatives are:
- Ensuring ongoing Senior Level Sponsorship
- Gaining and maintaining organizational consensus
- Taking an Enterprise wide perspective
- Implementing a rigorous data governance process
- Obtaining repeatable and measurable impact
It would take too much space to discuss each of these steps in detail but I will offer specific points for each one.
Ensuring ongoing Senior Level Sponsorship – like any important initiative, the organization needs to understand that the Big Data initiative underway is a high priority for the organization. This message needs to be continually reinforced and tied to the expected value it holds for the company.
Gaining and maintaining organizational consensus – recognizing the significant financial potential of making fact based decisions using Big Data insights can be very motivating. However, nothing can kill the initiative faster than lack of buy-in to the results from those organizations not involved from the beginning. Yes, it takes more time to gain consensus each step of the way but in the end you will cross the finish line faster.
Taking an Enterprise wide perspective – one of the biggest problems that companies face is the fact that so much of their data is held in “functional silos” that are not easy to connect. To be most effective, Big Data initiatives need to utilize methodologies and technologies that allow for data from disparate systems to “play well together”.
Implementing a rigorous data governance process – if the organization does not have confidence that the way the Big Data is being organized, validated and used consistently over time, you are basically wasting your time.
Obtaining repeatable and measurable impact – people like to get on the bandwagon of success. Celebrate and make visible the early wins from your Big Data initiative. In addition, track the performance gains over time to continue to reinforce to the organization the value of fact based decisions using insights from Big Data.
Following these five steps will help ensure the success of your Big Data initiative. 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.