What’s Holding Us Back From Big Data? Daniel Burrus Investigates


This week, Daniel Burrus, founder and CEO of Burrus Research explained why companies (can we qualify what kind) are still struggling with the implementation of big data technologies in their organizations. Here is a recap of Burrus’ argument:

I. Tools are geared towards data scientists instead of actual end users

Most big data tools have been designed with highly technically literate users in mind, such as data scientists. However, real permeation of big data in organizations requires that the “average end user”—managers or the C-suite—be able to use and understand those tools. Burrus comments:[This] is why you need to choose the tools and services that ensure your leaders can easily access and understand the data.” This year, big data technologies like IBM Watson gained momentum for being specifically designed to be accessible to business users. Indeed, this seems to be the new standard for big data/analytics tools and technologies.

II. Taking action from big data

“It isn’t enough to just collect and aggregate,” notes Burrus. “Your organization needs to have a plan for integrating and actually acting on the bounty of information that big data brings.” Indeed, many companies have fallen into the trap of thinking big data is a magic wand for all their business problems. While big data and predictive analytics can provide critical intelligence that can be used to solve business problems, it requires that businesses action those insights to see the true benefits.

III. Starting with the wrong data

We recently explored common myths around big data. Burrus notes that perhaps the biggest mistake companies make when it comes to big data is not understanding how different data sources impact different business needs. “You as the leader must decide on a desired business impact,” writes Burrus. “What’s the endgame? Begin by asking what data you would need in order to make better decisions and improve service for your clients and customers.” Indeed, not all data is created equal. In today’s data-centric business environments, it is critical that professionals educate themselves about a) the types of data available to them and b) what that data can tell them about their businesses.

As Burrus ends, “It [big data] isn’t going any where. It has changed the playing field forever. But the data is only as useful as your strategy — and ability — to leverage it.”

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