Big Data Strategy: More than a Numbers Game
Big Data capabilities are a vital aspect of identifying, assessing, and leveraging insight for competitive advantage.
Typically, you can rely on your IT team when it comes to everything big data services related. On the other hand, your business team is faced with the challenge to identify opportunities. Understanding how to link data to customer demands and marketplace metrics is essential for producing significant outcomes. Minding the gap between teams is one of the biggest obstacles while undergoing this process.
How do we overcome this obstacle, you ask? Start with acquiring a C-Level Sponsor who leads, commits and holds organizations accountable to a Big Data strategy. The three goals of the C-Level Sponsor are:
- First, you have to have a plan. It takes a strategy to get you there.
- Second, the plan must put together a proven set of formulas, approaches, and methods to win. There is no way to luck into success. As my high school football coach used to say, “Luck is when preparation meets opportunity”.
- Third, is to establish the strategy outcomes by answering the question, “Why are we doing this?” This answer should be quantified in business value creation dollars and remain the focus and measurement of the success of the strategy.
CEOs are being asked by the investor community and/or industry analysts to share their organization’s Big Data strategy. The investment community is wise to the fact that organizations that deploy and adopt Big Data and Predictive Analytics provide for long term stability and value gain to the shareholders. With the failure rate at approximately 70% for Big Data projects, it is important for the C-level Sponsor to mitigate risk and dollars in establishing a successful winning strategy. A winning strategy aligns executive, operational and IT goals into a single focus for significant value gain to the organization, shared responsibility and transparent accountability.
Seek outside help with an IT Consulting Partner who earns the trust of IT, Business & C-Level to help guide your organization through the strategy, process, methods and multiple POCs that are needed. There are many advantages for partnering with an outside trusted advisor:
- They accelerate your organization’s adoption of proven methods and approaches that guarantee success.
- There are politics in everything these days and Big Data has Big Politics attached internally with careers made and loss on such decisions; leverage an outsider to help manage through the status quo successfully because they have done it many times before.
- Having a trusted voice that is vendor neutral and is concentrating specifically on your success. Assisting you in managing vendors and proving out their claims before investing millions of dollars.
- Your team gets immediate access to critical key talent with a proven track record that you currently do not possess internally or cannot find.
- A trusted advisor guides the building of a cross-functional team and helps create a common set of semantics for communication. Big Data problems are modeling problems, and the models you are trying to create are those of the entities on which you gather data. The dynamics of the data and the products that derive from them are so dynamic that the business and IT folks need to be part of the same discussion and accountable as a team.
- Making the project successful, will require that the cross-functional team avoids any folks that are part of the old way of thinking; otherwise, the gap will persist and widen. A trusted advisor keeps a keen eye on the team and engages the C-level sponsor as needed to guide focus and outcome.
- Most importantly, they keep the focus of Big Data directed on outcomes that support the business and valuable outcome.