Go Digital in 2018: Forget big data
Data is essential and certainly the fuel of your performance in the years to come. But as in matter digital innovation, there are gaps in understanding, maturity or even misunderstandings on the subject that do not always serve companies.
First of all, the term “Big Data” has become so catchy that it no longer means anything. We have always worked on data, the difference is that today we can go infinitely further than before in terms of volume, processing speed and variety (unstructured data….). So we’ve always done as “big” as possible. Today’s big is infinitely bigger than yesterday’s big and infinitely smaller than tomorrow’s big. So there remains the data which in itself does not mean much either.
Data is good applied data is better
The same way as digital has become a business subject, data has also become a business subject. Data is good, but you still have to know what you are applying it to. There is a mistaken belief on the subject that all you have to do is stir up data and something will eventually come out. The reality is quite different: if you don’t know what you are looking for you will be hard pressed to find it. So instead of talking about data, let’s talk about what we use it for: decision-making, customer knowledge, employee knowledge, predictive about the risk of employee attrition …
Finally, finally, because data is not always Big. Looking at the titanic projects in which large companies are embarking, smaller companies can say to themselves “this is not for me, I do not have these needs, I do not have as much data to process for get something out of it, I can’t afford it ”. Here again the experience shows something radically different.
Data is small before being big
No matter the size, the ambition or the means, there is something to do with data. Starting with “small data”. Companies today have a data heritage that, for the most part, they under-use or even do not use. There are a lot of things to be learned, for example, from the analytics of a small site walking without setting up a gas plant and recruiting an army of data scientists. And then there is the question of the learning curve for companies that are starting out: here again not only is it possible but also preferable to start small with things practically achievable quickly then to move upmarket if we have the means and needs.
But once again I see a large number of large SMEs or mid-cap companies who have too vague a vision of the subject or the subject impresses and who do not dare to get started when there are plenty of affordable things to do in terms of data provided we have demystified the subject.
Bertrand Duperrin is Digital Transformation Practice Leader in Emakina. He was previously Consulting Director at Nextmodernity, a firm in the field of business transformation and management through social business and the use of social technologies.
He regularly deals with social media news on his blog.
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