The Art of the Possible – A Conversation about Big Data Analytics

The Art of the Possible – A Conversation about Big Data Analytics

Posted on June 15, 2015 by TheStorageChap in Big Data and Analytics, Federation, The Art of the Possible

As I referenced in my previous blog post, one the most difficult steps for organisations embarking on their digital transformation is simply knowing where to start; getting past a transactional requirement for data insights and into the frontier of big data analytics and exploration is an idea we call the “The Art of the Possible”.

The internet is awash with material describing the benefits of Big Data Analytics and urging organisations to transform and engage their customers in new digitally powered ways. As a result of this attention I am finding more and more companies and executives at a CxO level approaching us and saying something like “I am reading/hearing about how Big Data Analytics can benefit my business – we need some of that”. But when pressed they are not clear on what “that” actually is.

Likewise lots of CxOs and Lines of Business leaders are looking to other similar, vertically aligned businesses to see what they’re doing. In some more established verticals this may be a lot, but in other verticals this can be very little. In either case, whilst imitation may provide some benefit, the greatest business outcomes will be reserved for those organisations that identify truly differentiated ways to use Big Data Analytics within their business and in doing so give themselves a competitive edge.

Much to the benefit of the small number of Data Scientists in the employment marketplace; there is a growing trend within larger organisations to employee them to help the businesses better understand the art of the possible. But data science is only one, albeit important, part of the puzzle. Data Scientists will help you identify pertinent data sources and create predictive models that define the relationship between metrics and variables. They won’t necessarily understand the intricate processes, products and engagement models that form the DNA of your business.

Which brings me on to the primary point of this post, the challenge with analytics is that it is as much a creative exercise as it is a scientific one. We need to understand how to brainstorm and develop creative ideas for analytics development.

Long before any type of Data Science is undertaken you need to get the most creative thinkers in your business together, brainstorm your organisations challenges, opportunities, processes and consumer interactions (including those that my be tangential to any on the business’ actual operations, e.g. social media, review sites) and begin to think about how they could be modified or supplemented to:-

  • Increase Revenue Generation
  • Enable Revenue Protection
  • Improve Customer Experience
  • Improve Operational Efficiency
  • Reduce Risk

The most important trait of a successful big data analytics project is that it has a tangible business outcome and this is something that needs to be considered from the outset.

It my next post I will discuss one possible best practice for having an ‘Art of the Possible’ conversation within your organisation. Until then, do you agree with the above? Leave a comment or tweet me @TheStorageChap