Big data’s reputation is taking a hit for its tendency to overpromise and underdeliver. While this bad rap isn’t entirely unwarranted, maybe the problem isn’t with big data itself. Perhaps the problem is that we fail to properly utilize the data we collect.
In the corporate world, business intelligence platforms can amass limitless amounts of data. But possessing it is merely the first step. Knowing how to use it to your benefit is where the real money is made. If companies aren’t careful, those BI platforms can become nothing more than a fancy sports car that no one in your company knows how to drive.
Why are companies neglecting their bottom lines by leaving the “B” out of their BI?
The cards have been stacked against the business side of data collection since day one. BI used to require expensive equipment and high-priced data specialists. You had to make a formal request for an analysis, and due to the sheer volume of requests already in progress, you’d be lucky if it was ever fulfilled. There were always more requests than time to do them, so anything coming from outside the C-suite or a favored department was likely to be ignored.
But, like it always does, technology progressed. Cloud computing has made big data cheaper and more accessible than ever. As a result, BI extended beyond the realm of specialists and into self-service.
Leaders who empower everyone on their team to use BI tools can achieve a systemic increase in data-driven decision-making and a corresponding decrease in the use of outdated data and intuition.
Employee engagement is a make-or-break factor of successful BI. By extending the benefits of these methods to everyone, you’re putting your entire business back into big data and maximizing your ROI.
Getting your whole team engaged with BI is key to your success, so give them an on-ramp to analysis. While collaboration is good, if people don’t know what to collaborate on or where to go, it’s irrelevant. Implement an alerting layer so they get the information they need when they need it. It’s the simplest way to get them engaged, so make sure your platforms allow for this.
BI is a wonderful tool when used well. It’s no accident that the industry is projected to be worth more than $20 billion by 2018. But it’s not a foolproof. You can’t just launch a system and hope it works. A strategic implementation of BI takes a business-wide approach. It utilizes engaged employees and produces focused, goal-based, controllable data.