Welcome!

@ThingsExpo Authors: William Schmarzo, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Kevin Jackson, Pat Romanski

Related Topics: @DXWorldExpo, @CloudExpo, @ThingsExpo

@DXWorldExpo: Blog Feed Post

Big Data Success: Prioritize 'Important' Over 'Urgent' | @BigDataExpo #BigData #Analytics

To be successful, Big Data requires two key traits: focus and prioritization

Ugh. I see so many organizations get so close to the goal line with Big Data, and then get sidelined by something that is not nearly as important to the business. It is easy to see how these organizations get distracted as they get near the Big Data goal line, because the average CIO and Line of Business executive are continually fighting battles. They are so busy fighting battles that they forget to focus on winning the war.

To be successful, Big Data requires two key traits: focus and prioritization. Big Data success requires both the IT and Line of Business leaders to:

  • Focus on what’s important to the business, and
  • Prioritize “important” over “urgent.”

This is an organizational problem that has plagued organizations for years. This is not a unique problem for Big Data, but maybe is accentuated by the financial and business impact of delayed or lost Big Data-enabled business opportunities.

To get some guidance as to what organizations can do to address the focus and prioritization problems, let’s turn to our old friend Stephen Covey.

Put First Things First
Stephen Covey provided management guidance to this problem many years ago. I am a huge fan of Stephen Covey and his cultural shifting book “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.” Covey’s Habit #1: “Begin with an end in mind,” is the underlying foundation for our Big Data Vision Workshop; that before an organization launches their Big Data journey, that the organization first needs alignment and agreement as to what it is they are trying to achieve from a business perspective (a.k.a. business initiative).

Covey also provides guidance on the focus and prioritization challenge with his Habit #3: Put First Things First.   Covey’s Habit #3 states (from an organizational perspective):

“Habit 3 is about management—focusing on your organization’s purpose, values, roles, and priorities. What are “first things?” First things are focusing on those things your organization finds of most worth or value. If you put first things first, you are organizing and managing time and events according to the [organization’s] priorities.”

Covey’s Habit #3 comes with a Time Management Matrix that an organization can use to help them to prioritize important over urgent. The Time Management Matrix leads to critical thinking about how organizations need to prioritize important versus urgent when they start focusing on Quadrant II thinking (see Table #1).

Table #1: Covey’s Habit #3 Time Management Matrix

The time management decisions for Quadrant I (Urgent and Important) and Quadrant IV (Not Important and Not Urgent) are obvious, though it is amazing how many folks waste time in Quadrant IV (can you say “Candy Crush”?). But the real challenge is prioritizing Quadrant II over Quadrant III.

So when an organization has such a game-changing capability like Big Data (data plus advanced analytics) at their disposal, Covey recommends investing in Quadrant II activities (important but not urgent) that lead organizations to focus and prioritize the important tasks over the allure of the urgent tasks.

Choose Important Over Urgent
To achieve the biggest financial success with Big Data, have a plan and the organizational discipline to do the important things first. Don’t get distracted by the urgent. If you can’t manage the urgent, then you will never get to the important.

But the urgent is easy and tempting. It’s right in front of us. It’s something that we can jump on immediately and get that “productivity high” of checking that activity off of your To Do list. But that’s a false high. And in reality, focusing on checking those urgent tasks off of your To Do list distracts from the more important tasks on which your job and business performance are more likely measured.

This is happening at many organizations today. Even when they have done the envisioning work to drive IT and LOB alignment to identify those high-value/high-feasibility business initiatives, they stall. Many “urgent” tasks all of a sudden get in the way of the “important” such as:

  • We’ve got to get our operational systems in alignment first
  • We need to fix our data warehouse performance problems first
  • We need to speed up our ETL (extract, load and transform) processes first
  • We need to wait until we hire our CXO
  • We need to gain more experience with [insert tool of the moment] first
  • We need to wait until we see what competitor X does first
  • We need to wait to make sure that this Big Data thing is for real first
  • We’ve got to focus on closing out this quarter first

Lots of reason why one should wait, but organizations miss the most important reason for moving today including optimizing key business processes, uncovering new monetization opportunities and creating a more compelling, more profitable customer engagement.

Importance of the Proof of Value Engagement
What should organizations do at this point? If the organization truly has done the envisioning work to drive IT and LOB alignment to identify those high-value/high-feasibility business initiatives, then we recommend the Proof of Value step next. This is not a proof of concept or technology – we already know from the multitude of use cases that the technology works. Heck, the NSA has been spying on us with this technology for years now (that clicking when you are talking on the phone isn’t just some random noise).

The Proof of Value engagement serves two purposes (see Figure 1):

  • Can the new sources of internal and external data coupled with advanced analytics and data science actually improve the key business decisions that we need to make (“analytic lift”[1])
  • And if we can achieve the “analytic lift”, what is the associated financial return on investment (ROI) from improving the performance of our key business decision

Figure 1: Proof of Value Engagement

Prioritize Important Over Urgent
Don’t delay. Your organization needs to start realizing the business benefit of Big Data. But to realize those business benefits, the IT and LOB leadership must learn to focus on important versus urgent.

Stephen Covey can help organizations with his Habit #3 and the supporting Time Management Matrix. Understanding the difference and focusing the organizational resources on important over urgent will yield direct and measurable business benefits to your organization including optimizing key business processes, uncovering new monetization opportunities and creating a more compelling, more profitable customer engagement.

[1] In predictive analytics and data science, lift is a measure of the performance of an analytic model at predicting cases as measured against an existing model or process. Lift is simply the ratio of the improved analytic model response divided by current analytic model response.

The post Big Data Success: Prioritize “Important” Over “Urgent” appeared first on InFocus.

Read the original blog entry...

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 Dell EMC’s Big Data Practice.

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.

@ThingsExpo Stories
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, whic...
BnkToTheFuture.com is the largest online investment platform for investing in FinTech, Bitcoin and Blockchain companies. We believe the future of finance looks very different from the past and we aim to invest and provide trading opportunities for qualifying investors that want to build a portfolio in the sector in compliance with international financial regulations.
Imagine if you will, a retail floor so densely packed with sensors that they can pick up the movements of insects scurrying across a store aisle. Or a component of a piece of factory equipment so well-instrumented that its digital twin provides resolution down to the micrometer.
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settle...
Product connectivity goes hand and hand these days with increased use of personal data. New IoT devices are becoming more personalized than ever before. In his session at 22nd Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo, Nicolas Fierro, CEO of MIMIR Blockchain Solutions, will discuss how in order to protect your data and privacy, IoT applications need to embrace Blockchain technology for a new level of product security never before seen - or needed.
Leading companies, from the Global Fortune 500 to the smallest companies, are adopting hybrid cloud as the path to business advantage. Hybrid cloud depends on cloud services and on-premises infrastructure working in unison. Successful implementations require new levels of data mobility, enabled by an automated and seamless flow across on-premises and cloud resources. In his general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Tevis, an IBM Storage Software Technical Strategist and Customer Solution Architec...
Nordstrom is transforming the way that they do business and the cloud is the key to enabling speed and hyper personalized customer experiences. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ken Schow, VP of Engineering at Nordstrom, discussed some of the key learnings and common pitfalls of large enterprises moving to the cloud. This includes strategies around choosing a cloud provider(s), architecture, and lessons learned. In addition, he covered some of the best practices for structured team migration an...
No hype cycles or predictions of a gazillion things here. IoT is here. You get it. You know your business and have great ideas for a business transformation strategy. What comes next? Time to make it happen. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jay Mason, an Associate Partner of Analytics, IoT & Cybersecurity at M&S Consulting, presented a step-by-step plan to develop your technology implementation strategy. He also discussed the evaluation of communication standards and IoT messaging protocols, data...
Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, discussed how from store operations and ...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Raju Shreewastava, founder of Big Data Trunk, provided a fun and simple way to introduce Machine Leaning to anyone and everyone. He solved a machine learning problem and demonstrated an easy way to be able to do machine learning without even coding. Raju Shreewastava is the founder of Big Data Trunk (www.BigDataTrunk.com), a Big Data Training and consulting firm with offices in the United States. He previously led the data warehouse/business intelligence and B...
"IBM is really all in on blockchain. We take a look at sort of the history of blockchain ledger technologies. It started out with bitcoin, Ethereum, and IBM evaluated these particular blockchain technologies and found they were anonymous and permissionless and that many companies were looking for permissioned blockchain," stated René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventi...
When shopping for a new data processing platform for IoT solutions, many development teams want to be able to test-drive options before making a choice. Yet when evaluating an IoT solution, it’s simply not feasible to do so at scale with physical devices. Building a sensor simulator is the next best choice; however, generating a realistic simulation at very high TPS with ease of configurability is a formidable challenge. When dealing with multiple application or transport protocols, you would be...
Smart cities have the potential to change our lives at so many levels for citizens: less pollution, reduced parking obstacles, better health, education and more energy savings. Real-time data streaming and the Internet of Things (IoT) possess the power to turn this vision into a reality. However, most organizations today are building their data infrastructure to focus solely on addressing immediate business needs vs. a platform capable of quickly adapting emerging technologies to address future ...
We are given a desktop platform with Java 8 or Java 9 installed and seek to find a way to deploy high-performance Java applications that use Java 3D and/or Jogl without having to run an installer. We are subject to the constraint that the applications be signed and deployed so that they can be run in a trusted environment (i.e., outside of the sandbox). Further, we seek to do this in a way that does not depend on bundling a JRE with our applications, as this makes downloads and installations rat...
Widespread fragmentation is stalling the growth of the IIoT and making it difficult for partners to work together. The number of software platforms, apps, hardware and connectivity standards is creating paralysis among businesses that are afraid of being locked into a solution. EdgeX Foundry is unifying the community around a common IoT edge framework and an ecosystem of interoperable components.
DX World EXPO, LLC, a Lighthouse Point, Florida-based startup trade show producer and the creator of "DXWorldEXPO® - Digital Transformation Conference & Expo" has announced its executive management team. The team is headed by Levent Selamoglu, who has been named CEO. "Now is the time for a truly global DX event, to bring together the leading minds from the technology world in a conversation about Digital Transformation," he said in making the announcement.
In this strange new world where more and more power is drawn from business technology, companies are effectively straddling two paths on the road to innovation and transformation into digital enterprises. The first path is the heritage trail – with “legacy” technology forming the background. Here, extant technologies are transformed by core IT teams to provide more API-driven approaches. Legacy systems can restrict companies that are transitioning into digital enterprises. To truly become a lead...
Digital Transformation (DX) is not a "one-size-fits all" strategy. Each organization needs to develop its own unique, long-term DX plan. It must do so by realizing that we now live in a data-driven age, and that technologies such as Cloud Computing, Big Data, the IoT, Cognitive Computing, and Blockchain are only tools. In her general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Rebecca Wanta explained how the strategy must focus on DX and include a commitment from top management to create great IT jobs, monitor ...
"Cloud Academy is an enterprise training platform for the cloud, specifically public clouds. We offer guided learning experiences on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud and all the surrounding methodologies and technologies that you need to know and your teams need to know in order to leverage the full benefits of the cloud," explained Alex Brower, VP of Marketing at Cloud Academy, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clar...
The IoT Will Grow: In what might be the most obvious prediction of the decade, the IoT will continue to expand next year, with more and more devices coming online every single day. What isn’t so obvious about this prediction: where that growth will occur. The retail, healthcare, and industrial/supply chain industries will likely see the greatest growth. Forrester Research has predicted the IoT will become “the backbone” of customer value as it continues to grow. It is no surprise that retail is ...