What If We Could Feel the Big Data Sugar Rush Faster?

October 23, 2013
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ImageThe Halloween candy aisle has me thinking about all the tricks and treats that exist in the quest drive meaningful business value from Big Data. Every executive I meet is trying to drive return on their information assets that will make them more profitable, more efficient, more competitive…more of anything better.

ImageThe Halloween candy aisle has me thinking about all the tricks and treats that exist in the quest drive meaningful business value from Big Data. Every executive I meet is trying to drive return on their information assets that will make them more profitable, more efficient, more competitive…more of anything better.

We all want to fill our bags with goodies, don’t we? To be that kid standing over a huge bag of loot dumped on the living room floor, slowly salivating as you wait for Mom and Dad to tell you what you can and cannot eat.

There’s always the candy you won’t really like, but you have to sort through it anyway. Then there’s the good stuff, the stuff that’s so good, you beg your parents to allow you to, just this once, hurl yourself into a sugar-induced coma, because you just have to eat it all THIS VERY SECOND.

Wouldn’t it be great if we could all get our Big Data fix that fast? If it was easier to tell good information from bad as it pours in, instead of wondering and waiting as it sits on the data warehouse floor? Wouldn’t it be great if you didn’t need parental (or data scientist) inspection before you could devour it and experience the goodness?

One of the biggest things holding back the gloriously giddy, body shaking-ly awesome Big Data sugar rush is the time it takes to make an impact. It should be faster. It shouldn’t take a year just to get ready to knock at the first door. And you shouldn’t have to say, “Can I only have peanut butter candy please because that’s my favorite and the rest is all worthless to me.” And you most certainly shouldn’t have to wait for anyone to sort through it.

Imagine if your trick-or-treat bag had the magical and mystical ability to inspect candy as it entered the bag and only gave you what you wanted? No post-sorting needed. No waiting for Mom or Dad.

And what if it could also alert you to patterns and opportunities you hadn’t already thought of and say, “Hey, you really like peanut butter and you really like nuts, and this house has been known to give out king-sized candy bars with peanuts and nuts, so you might want to check this out.”

Here are the Cruelest Big Data Tricks:

  • Having to wait 12-15 months to see value, when it should never take longer than 90 days;
  • Having to rip out and replace all the technology you’ve ever bought because you’re told by a 
    mega-stack vendor that it’s now worthless;
  • Having to segregate, silo and shift data and information in order to achieve your goals, when you shouldn’t have to touch it at all.

And, thankfully, there are the Treats:

  • Being able to analyze every bit of information your company has, no matter where it lives, who created it, how it got there or what format it’s in. A straight adrenaline shot of value.
  • Finding patterns and opportunities you didn’t even know you were looking for, but exist still the same, because now you’re able to think differently.
  • Trusting your software again and having employees excited about working with technology, not exhausted and deadened by the technology that is working them.

That’s the kind of sugar-rush world I’m living in this Halloween. How about you? Tell us if your Big Data is a trick or a treat