Big Data introduces an opportunity that organizations see when merging silo product operations together forming a service layer or an enhanced hybrid product. Big Data also requires exceptional enterprise intelligence from the perspective of establishing the scaffolding for enterprise grwoth. That scaffolding requires advanced information technology system and business process matrix visibility. My thesis … let me elaborate below on a single thread here given this is a subject I have been developing on recently…
In order for Big Data to work it requires abundant access to systems, data repositories, and the merging and tweaking of data beyond original data owner expectations or comprehension. The enterprise that balances the advantage of Big Data analytics with superior scaffolding will appreciate higher run rates and profitability without unfunded cost centers and above trend OpEx generally. The opportunity of Big Data without this business intelligence will be squandered and the benefits not realized as a direct result.
The CIO has this ownership and it is the purview of the Audit Committee to ensure that these risks are understood and tackled. The Board of Directors have proven to value equally the aggressiveness of Data Analytics with the ongoing revaluation of the risk tolerance and acceptance points of the business. As one can imagine, this is a familiar yet distinct activity within the executive structure, but three key attributes / activities that indicate a successful approach are as follows:
- Vertical awareness - product awareness, strategy, and full line of sight for each major revenue center
- Scrum topical teams – risk assessments and activities linked to the product market research initiatives
- Senior strategy alignment – what does the Board seek in this DA movement; What does the CEO/CIO envision on these product expansions; What is the audit committee observations (meaning that they must have visibility and mindfulness to the impact)
Think Big Data is not huge business? … consider these figures:
- Gartner: Big Data Market is Worth $3.7 Trillion, Generating Over 4 Million Jobs by 2015 – article
- Good short presentation on value of pattern based strategies, by Gartner
- $29B will be spent on big data throughout 2012 by IT departments. Of this figure (Forbes)
Or a classic business case example:
“The cornerstone of his [Sam Walton’s] company’s success ultimately lay in selling goods at the lowest possible price, something he was able to do by pushing aside the middlemen and directly haggling with manufacturers to bring costs down. The idea to “buy it low, stack it high, and sell it cheap” became a sustainable business model largely because Walton, at the behest of David Glass, his eventual successor, heavily invested in software that could track consumer behavior in real time from the bar codes read at Wal-Mart’s checkout counters.
“He shared the real-time data with suppliers to create partnerships that allowed Wal-Mart to exert significant pressure on manufacturers to improve their productivity and become ever more efficient. As Wal-Mart’s influence grew, so did its power to nearly dictate the price, volume, delivery, packaging, and quality of many of its suppliers’ products. The upshot: Walton flipped the supplier-retailer relationship upside down.” – Changing The Industry Balance of Power
A good (no paywall) article on Forbes here breaks down the IT spent related directly to Big Data and compares against prior years up to 2012 & by industry.
Also check out this MIT Sloan article co-developed with IBM entitled Big Data, Analytics and the path from Insight to Value – most interesting for me was page 23 relating to Analytics trumping intuition. This relates to EVERY business process, product, sales opportunity, accounting, fraud detection, compliance initiative, security analytics, defense and response capabilities, power management, etc … A worthwhile read for each executive.
Think strategically act vertically and influence horizontally – scale!
James DeLuccia IV
*See me speak at RSA 2013 on the topic – Passwords are Dead