“The tipping point is that magic moment when an idea, trend, or social behavior crosses a threshold, tips, and spreads like wildfire.” ― Malcolm Gladwell, The Tipping Point
You may have heard about Big Data and thought to yourself, “It’s just another fire drill, a fleeting fad, a Y2K scare.” And so your strategy thus far has been to ignore the noise and keep your head down while the world scrambles to make sense of it. After all, the pioneers catch all the arrows, right? Why bother? Besides, you don’t have the budget for another science experiment. You’ve got more data than you can possibly sift through and make use of, anyway… Moreover, you already have business intelligence and not enough time to even keep pace with those requests. Why take on another project when you are already drinking from the proverbial fire-hose?
Here’s why. The traditional landscape is changing and new business models are being created. Data that was once discarded and considered un-usable are becoming new revenue streams. At the rate Big Data is moving, even those who are one step ahead can quickly fall behind.
Below are the top 5 reasons you should be developing a Big Data Roadmap, well, yesterday.
- Big Data is amorphous.
- It takes away the guesswork in achieving customer loyalty.
- Not taking advantage of Big Data is preventing you from selling more stuff.
- You must allow time for learning.
- The race has already begun, and demand for talent is rapidly increasing.
Big Data is not about a single vertical or a specific application. It will span across the entire enterprise, beyond the four walls, to the edge of the universe to capture data, which may not seemingly be germane immediately. But like a Cezanne painting, once you can gain a perspective, the world will never look the same again. Big Data can uncover answers to questions you hadn’t even thought to ask yet. It will give you the tools to look around corners and gain insight that you cannot possibly garner through any other means.
We now live in 2 worlds: the actual and the online… Big Data merges the two. It uses actual, factual events to better understand the important factors involved in securing lifelong customers. Big Data establishes a connective tissue to a customer’s “digital life” and gives marketers the ability to drive behavior of that customer at every stage of their life cycle. We all have heard about the story where Target was able to recognize a girl was pregnant long before even her father knew about it… Yes, it raised some issues about privacy and security but it has also brought new awareness to the idea that Big Data can identify the things we can’t see with the naked eye and use those nuances to align itself, embed itself, and manipulate it’s host into making certain decisions. The rule for success: get to know your customers.
I guarantee that Big Data will give you a solution. It is an undertaking not to be taking lightly. The truth is, there is a first-move advantage, and those that are building their Big Data programs will reap the benefits of connecting with customers in a way that will make it virtually impossible for the laggards to ever re-gain market share. There are new models continuously being developed, making Big Data easier to use and more efficient in aggregating and correlating universes of data from disparate sources. In doing so, companies are already reducing risk and realizing significant gains.
Unlike regular projects, Big Data is a program of continuous improvement. Like any other competency, it requires an unwavering investment of time and effort to get really good at understanding how patterns and modeling will impact your business. You will not simply wake up one morning with the mechanisms in place to compute information to give you the answers you need. The sooner you get started, the more likely you are to learn through the experience of assembling the right teams, the right technology tools, and the right use cases to be successful. You will learn as much from the set up and failures as you will from a successful implementation.
As time goes on, resources will become increasingly scarcer. Every day, more and more companies are realizing the impact of Big Data. They have already begun gobbling up the best minds available to develop scalable architectures to take them into the next decade. My advice: Don’t wait until the well runs dry. You cannot do this yourself. Few, highly skilled individuals are able to see into the future by diving into the data lakes and developing analytics to extract the hidden treasures that lie below the surface. Hire a Big Data expert now. They have the insight and skill set to connect the dots across multiple dimensions in a manner that drives new knowledge into the enterprise and down to the point of presence.
Conclusion: If Big Data is not on your 2014 Roadmap, you are already behind. While some people feel that it is best to follow the system, accept the foregone conclusions and do what is expected of them, progress requires unprompted change and new thinking. The “new knowledge” that Big Data affords challenges conventions. You have a choice to make. It is not IF Big Data; it is when, and at what level of commitment? It is the role, if not duty of each business executive to advance an opportunity beyond its tipping point and set in motion a new era. Big Data is raising the game and you must embrace it if you are to compete in the modern playing field.
For those of you who have read this article and are wondering, “Where the heck do I start?!” don’t worry, I’m not going to leave you in the dark. What I will tell you, is that the rise of the Big Data Agencies will become the norm in the form of quick, one stop shops for companies to offload Big Data programs especially for market analytics. It is these types of companies who can bring you up to speed and get you in the game. Just as we see legal firms and ad agencies, Charter Global wants to be your Big Data Agency. We specialize in Big Data, with all the expertise, means, and mechanisms already in place. Contact us today to find out how we can work together to get you off the bench and onto the playing field.
Written By: Keith Sciulli
Keith Sciulli is a venture catalyst and visionary. He manages the Big Data Accelerator program for Charter Global. Keith has vast experience in messaging and position enablement, as well as product/market launch and program management. He is responsible for executing strategic initiatives that transform business growth for CGI’s clients. He holds two degrees from Carnegie Mellon University, and his greatest passion is taking his wife and daughter on trips around the world.