Big data holds big promise for businesses large and small. The potential for this type of information processing depends entirely on your company's ability to best manage the data to its advantage. Unfortunately, big-data apps and processes sometimes end up creative massive headaches that rival the sheer volume of the information they generate. Could Business Process Management (i.e. effective organizational workflow) be the solution?
Don't Get Lost in the Big-Data Stream
Information without context means nothing. Big data's impressive knowledge-gathering capabilities give you a terrific base with which to work; however, the huge volume of data will quickly prove useless if not managed effectively. You'll likely need to hire experts skilled in technology and knowledge management to sift through results and isolate actionable data. When it comes to big data, having the right people in your organization will make a big difference in its day-to-day operations.
Unfortunately, some companies become overwhelmed with unusable information instead of benefiting from the collection of big-data metrics. Since such info is malleable, interpretation of data into valuable conclusions may be achieved through various means. It's up to you and your team to enact the right infrastructure that best enables your business to use big data to help meet the demands of its customers.
Tactical Big Data
Instead of collecting data for the sake of having it on hand, all big-data activity should focus on creating a process that yields tangible and specific results. Be selective when compiling data through your IT systems and decide in advance what info you need to gather and why.
The quality of the information you amass depends on your tactical decision-making process. Social media tracking that shows how many likes and favorites your business receives is likely less useful than aggregating the purchasing behavior of active contributors within your social media communities.
Perhaps the great irony behind big data are the many tiny decisions required to create a context for the information assembled. Without a framework in place to help link big data to real human behavior, the collection of information is rendered useless.
As big data continues to evolve, companies should start to witness greater benefit from more precise interpretation of the massive amounts of information. A disciplined approach to collecting data and a thoughtful strategy for managing it are key to helping your business thrive during this promising digital transformation.