Monday, November 17, 2014

The problem with being Big Data-Driven

I don't talk about BIG DATA all that much - not because I am not trendy, but because I rarely have anything to say about it. Occasionally the topic will come up, but it's not a major theme in my business blogging.

This is probably a good thing.

Why? Because the term BIG DATA is, on its own, a tool in search of a benefit. Not that you could tell this from the literature:

After transforming customer-facing functions such as sales and marketing, big data is extending its reach to other parts of the enterprise. In research and development, for example, big data and analytics are being adopted across industries, including pharmaceuticals.

And here's another one:

Research firm Gartner said that big data analytics will play a crucial role in detecting crime and security infractions. By 2016, more than 25 percent of global firms will adopt big data analytics for at least one security and fraud detection use case, up from current eight percent.

But if we focus on BIG DATA, we may miss something. Qvidian's Amanda Wilson makes this point in a blog post geared toward sales operations professionals, but applicable to many of us.

One section of this post is entitled "Less Data Driven, More Driving of the Data." This is an important distinction, as Wilson notes:

Data is being captured at almost every point in the marketing and selling process, so the amount of information we can gain on what’s going on is at an all-time high. But the key is to not just look for the new analytics tool of the month, or dazzle your leadership with pretty dashboards and visualizations. Because data doesn’t make decisions, people do.

Read more of Wilson's comments here.

And don't forget Sujatha Das' point that data is just the first step to wisdom.
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