Communicating the Value of Big Data
September 28, 2012
The IT world has successfully communicated the message that Big Data is valuable. It has been less successful in explaining how, exactly. Following its recent BI & Analytics Perspectives Conference, Computerworld realizes that “Finding the Business Value in Big Data is a Big Problem.” The IT pros gathered at the conference seem to agree that the current problem with the data analytics phenomenon is figuring out just what to do with all that information. The article explains:
“Technology vendors and industry analysts tout the enormous business benefits that enterprises can gain from mashing up traditional structured data with unstructured data from the cloud, mobile devices, social media channels and other sources. But business executives have little idea of how to take advantage of Big Data or how to articulate their requirements to IT, according to several executives at the show.
“Business leaders often ‘don’t know what they don’t know,’ said one frustrated IT manager, and therefore they are incapable of explaining to IT shops what to do with all this data that’s being accumulated.”
A similar problem crops up with most new technologies. People have to break out of decades-old thought patterns to even see the possibilities—an overwhelming task for most humans. Some companies are creating “innovation labs” with the sole purpose of getting the best ROI from their Big Data investments.
That’s probably a good thing, but I think vendors must take responsibility for explaining the value in their products. Collecting and peering at data is only valuable as a means to some profitable end. Those who supply Big Data solutions must find ways to illustrate the worth of their products with clear examples, suggestions, and starting points for potential clients. If they cannot, their businesses may not outlast what could become known as the Big Data Fad of the early 21st Century.
Cynthia Murrell, September 28, 2012