Tips To Get Your Organization Ready For Big Data

5 Min Read

With all the hype about big data many organizations are trying to figure out how to fully and immediately capitalize on its arrival.

With all the hype about big data many organizations are trying to figure out how to fully and immediately capitalize on its arrival.

And although there are plenty of articles that highlight the successes of big data initiatives experienced by large data-producing organizations (Google, Facebook, etc.), how they achieve that level of success currently evades most companies.

Research conducted by Forrester Research Inc. suggests that nearly one-third of organizations manage the development and deployment of big data applications differently than other software development efforts. These firms believe that big data solutions are so unique that new processes are necessary to ensure that they derive the greatest benefits possible from the solutions.

According to the research, in order for big data initiatives to succeed, managers and executives of these organizations must be able to work collaboratively with their IT departments. Additionally, development teams should be augmented with highly skilled data scientists working in concert with management and IT to outline new use cases and opportunities.

There is also the challenge of big data management. The Forrester study indicates that big data technology is new and it’s advancing every day. Few individuals have acquired the skills necessary to effectively deploy and/or use big data appliances.

The respondents from the Forrester survey advocate:

  • Understanding current business intelligence systems to determine if they’re capable (with or without being modified or expanded) of working with your big data. Big data isn’t necessarily the only answer – maybe scaling your data servers up and out will solve a volume problem;
  • Ensuring that big data governance and risk management is in place and understood by all members of the organization who may be exposed to or affected by big data;
  • Starting with a small and simple big data project. Scale up once experience and knowledge increases.

Beth Stackpole expresses similar sentiments in this article that outlines five tips to get your organization ready for big data:

  1. Take stock of your big data. Determine the type of data you have that’s classified as big data. Is it Facebook data? Is it unstructured data from blogs, emails, etc.?
  2. Let business needs drive data dives. Work with decision makers, data scientists, analysts and others to determine the answer to the following questions: What data is worth saving? How can the data be used? Can any meaningful information be gleaned from the big data?
  3. Reevaluate infrastructure and data architecture. Can your current system handle big data, including the storage of large amounts of structured and unstructured data? If not, is the organization ready to expand?
  4. Bone up on the new technology. Learn about new systems available to handle big data. Figure out which set of technologies work well with your existing system. Evaluate the total cost of ownership including acquisition costs, deployment costs and training costs.
  5. Prepare to hire or retain staff. Big data professionals could prove extremely helpful. If you’re deploying a big data appliance like Hadoop, retain the services of a Hadoop expert. The complexity of the big data project may require the use of data and behavioral scientists, statisticians, data managers, and additional specialized professionals with a deep understanding of semantics and mathematical disciplines.

Next steps:

  • To learn more about how analytics can improve your business and increase your bottom line check out these complimentary guides:
    • 5-Minute Guide to Business Analytics” to find out how user-driven “analytic” or “data discovery” technologies help business and technology users more quickly uncover insights and speed action.
    • 5-Minute Guide to HR Analytics,” to discover the three critical capabilities a modern analytic environment must provide to the entire spectrum of HR staff so they can adequately support the enterprise.
    • 5-Minute Guide to CRM Analytics,” to learn how agile analytics technology can help you deliver critical value to executives and front-line marketers.

Dennis Hardy
Spotfire Blogging Team

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