Welcome!

@ThingsExpo Authors: Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Zakia Bouachraoui

Related Topics: @DXWorldExpo, @CloudExpo, @ThingsExpo

@DXWorldExpo: Blog Feed Post

Demystifying Big Data | @BigDataExpo #IoT #Cloud #BigData

You don’t need a Big Data strategy; you need a business strategy that incorporates Big Data

The Dean of the University of San Francisco School of Management, Elizabeth Davis, recently asked me to sit on a Big Data panel at the Direct Sales Association conference. I was given a 5-minute slot to “demystify” Big Data to a non-technical group of about 1,000 people; to help them understand where and how this thing called “Big Data” could help them.

Well if you know me, I can barely introduce myself in 5 minutes. But this was particularly challenging for me, as I’m used to talking about Big Data with organizations with at least some level of Big Data experience or understanding (maybe they should get my second book – the “Big Data MBA” – and start there!).

So I accepted the challenge, and here is what I said (and yes, I did it within the 5-minute window).

Myth #1: Every Business needs a Big Data strategy.

Reality #1: You don’t need a Big Data strategy; you need a business strategy that incorporates Big Data.

While that may sound like a “play on words,” to be success with Big Data requires a different perspective – a business-first perspective.  Whether that’s optimizing a key business process or uncovering new monetization opportunities or creating a more compelling customer experience, the opportunities to drive and derive business value with Big Data are everywhere. In fact, organizations do not fail with Big Data because of a lack of business opportunities; they fail because they have too many. It’s a focus and prioritization problem.

Myth #2: Investing in Big Data capabilities is the first step to surfacing valuable insights from your data.

Reality #2: Begin with a business end in mind.

In order to address the focus and prioritization problem, start your Big Data journey by focusing on one of the organization’s key business initiative. Focus on something that is important to the business; something the business is trying to accomplish over the next 9 to 12 months. It might be something like customer acquisition or quality of care or predictive maintenance or network capacity optimization. But pick something and get going!

Myth #3: Big Data is only for Big Business.

Reality #3: All types of businesses can and should embrace the economics of Big Data.

Using Big Data technologies (scale out hardware architectures built on commodity processors, open source software tools and platforms), it is 20x to 50x cheaper (and maybe even more today) to store, manage and analyze data versus traditional data technologies. The “economics of Big Data” enables four (4) key capabilities that can be applied to your business initiatives to deliver business value. These 4 Big Data economic value drivers are:

  1. Access to the organization’s complete history of detailed transactional and operational data at the level of the individual – whether that’s an individual human, machine or device.
  2. Access to the growing wealth of unstructured data, whether internal to the organization (consumer comments, sales teams notes, email conversations, product spec’s, work orders, clinical studies) or external to the organization (traffic, weather, home values, building permits, patent filings, research studies).
  3. “Right-time” analysis to identify in a more timely manner, a data-driven event (customer engagement, device reading, machine log) that provides an opportunity for action; to “catch the customer in the act” of engaging with your organization.
  4. Apply predictive analytics (data mining, machine learning, cognitive computing) across the wealth of internal and external data to uncover areas of “unusualness” (problems or opportunities) at the level of the individual.

Myth #4: Focus on the data to identify opportunities for valuable analytics.

Reality #4: Focus on the decisions that stakeholders need to make in support of the targeted business initiative.

Leverage envisioning and facilitation techniques to brainstorm with key business stakeholders to identify the decisions that these stakeholders need to make in support of the targeted business initiative. The decisions are critical, as that is the linkage point between the business and the data science.

Myth #5: Data Science is an enigma of technical complexity.

Reality #5: Data science is about identifying those variables and metrics that might be better predictors of performance.

Understand what Data Science can do for you, but what is data science? Data science is about identifying those variables and metrics that might be better predictors of performance. Might. Might is a valuable word because it gives the business users and the data scientists the license to explore any and all ideas to uncover those variables and metrics that might be better predictors of performance. Might. Remember, “If you do not have enough “might” ideas, you’ll never have any breakthrough ideas.”

Myth #6: Data science is only for data scientists.

Reality #6: Business users need to think like data scientists.

Who are the best sources of those variables and metrics that might be better predictors of performance? The people who live the jobs day in and day out – the business users (e.g., store managers, physicians, nurses, teachers, operators, technicians, mechanics, marketing manager, sales agent, call service rep). In order to get the business users to start thinking more broadly and creatively about those potential variables and metrics, it’s necessary to take the business users through a series of “thinking like a data scientist” exercises that include:

  • Transitioning from asking descriptive questions about what has happened, to asking predictive questions about what is likely to happen and prescriptive questions about what should one do.
  • Understanding the power of scores to aggregate a wide variety of variables and metrics around a common domain to create a score. Think FICO score and its ability to leverage 36 different variables and metrics to create a score that measures the likelihood of someone repaying a loan.
  • Understanding the user experience ramifications; that is, how will the analytic results and insights be delivered to the front-line employees, managers and customers in a manner that they can understand and act?

Based upon the feedback from some of the audience, this was a pretty good and straight forward list. Yes, we can demystify this Big Data discussion in order to help organizations understand where and how to start their Big Data journeys today.

The post Demystifying Big Data appeared first on InFocus.

More Stories By William Schmarzo

Bill Schmarzo, author of “Big Data: Understanding How Data Powers Big Business” and “Big Data MBA: Driving Business Strategies with Data Science”, is responsible for setting strategy and defining the Big Data service offerings for Hitachi Vantara as CTO, IoT and Analytics.

Previously, as a CTO within Dell EMC’s 2,000+ person consulting organization, he works with organizations to identify where and how to start their big data journeys. He’s written white papers, is an avid blogger and is a frequent speaker on the use of Big Data and data science to power an organization’s key business initiatives. He is a University of San Francisco School of Management (SOM) Executive Fellow where he teaches the “Big Data MBA” course. Bill also just completed a research paper on “Determining The Economic Value of Data”. Onalytica recently ranked Bill as #4 Big Data Influencer worldwide.

Bill has over three decades of experience in data warehousing, BI and analytics. Bill authored the Vision Workshop methodology that links an organization’s strategic business initiatives with their supporting data and analytic requirements. Bill serves on the City of San Jose’s Technology Innovation Board, and on the faculties of The Data Warehouse Institute and Strata.

Previously, Bill was vice president of Analytics at Yahoo where he was responsible for the development of Yahoo’s Advertiser and Website analytics products, including the delivery of “actionable insights” through a holistic user experience. Before that, Bill oversaw the Analytic Applications business unit at Business Objects, including the development, marketing and sales of their industry-defining analytic applications.

Bill holds a Masters Business Administration from University of Iowa and a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics, Computer Science and Business Administration from Coe College.

IoT & Smart Cities Stories
René Bostic is the Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America. Enjoying her career with IBM during the modern millennial technological era, she is an expert in cloud computing, DevOps and emerging cloud technologies such as Blockchain. Her strengths and core competencies include a proven record of accomplishments in consensus building at all levels to assess, plan, and implement enterprise and cloud computing solutions. René is a member of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and a m...
SYS-CON Events announced today that DatacenterDynamics has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. DatacenterDynamics is a brand of DCD Group, a global B2B media and publishing company that develops products to help senior professionals in the world's most ICT dependent organizations make risk-based infrastructure and capacity decisions.
A valuable conference experience generates new contacts, sales leads, potential strategic partners and potential investors; helps gather competitive intelligence and even provides inspiration for new products and services. Conference Guru works with conference organizers to pass great deals to great conferences, helping you discover new conferences and increase your return on investment.
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that ICOHOLDER named "Media Sponsor" of Miami Blockchain Event by FinTechEXPO. ICOHOLDER gives detailed information and help the community to invest in the trusty projects. Miami Blockchain Event by FinTechEXPO has opened its Call for Papers. The two-day event will present 20 top Blockchain experts. All speaking inquiries which covers the following information can be submitted by email to [email protected] Miami Blockchain Event by FinTechEXPOalso offers sp...
Headquartered in Plainsboro, NJ, Synametrics Technologies has provided IT professionals and computer systems developers since 1997. Based on the success of their initial product offerings (WinSQL and DeltaCopy), the company continues to create and hone innovative products that help its customers get more from their computer applications, databases and infrastructure. To date, over one million users around the world have chosen Synametrics solutions to help power their accelerated business or per...
Poor data quality and analytics drive down business value. In fact, Gartner estimated that the average financial impact of poor data quality on organizations is $9.7 million per year. But bad data is much more than a cost center. By eroding trust in information, analytics and the business decisions based on these, it is a serious impediment to digital transformation.
@DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo, taking place November 12-13 in New York City, NY, is co-located with 22nd international CloudEXPO | first international DXWorldEXPO and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time t...
When talking IoT we often focus on the devices, the sensors, the hardware itself. The new smart appliances, the new smart or self-driving cars (which are amalgamations of many ‘things'). When we are looking at the world of IoT, we should take a step back, look at the big picture. What value are these devices providing. IoT is not about the devices, its about the data consumed and generated. The devices are tools, mechanisms, conduits. This paper discusses the considerations when dealing with the...
SYS-CON Events announced today that IoT Global Network has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 6–8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. The IoT Global Network is a platform where you can connect with industry experts and network across the IoT community to build the successful IoT business of the future.
IoT is rapidly becoming mainstream as more and more investments are made into the platforms and technology. As this movement continues to expand and gain momentum it creates a massive wall of noise that can be difficult to sift through. Unfortunately, this inevitably makes IoT less approachable for people to get started with and can hamper efforts to integrate this key technology into your own portfolio. There are so many connected products already in place today with many hundreds more on the h...