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Posted by Martha Bennett on August 15, 2014
To compete in the age of the customer, it’s essential to make the most of the data you have access to, whether it’s from internal or external sources. For most organizations, this implies a need to review and challenge existing approaches to how they capture, process, and use data to support decision-making. But it’s important first of all to move beyond a technology-centric view of big data. This is why at Forrester, we define big data as:
The practices and technologies that close the gap between the data available and the ability to turn that data into business insight.
Moving beyond a technology-centric view doesn’t mean, however, that a bottom-up, technology-led approach to big data strategy won’t work. After all, it’s often the case that business executives can’t see the potential of a technology until they’ve seen it in action. A bottom-up approach also provides the opportunity to acquire technical skills, and gain an understanding of what needs to be done to integrate new technologies with existing systems (even if it’s just at the level of getting the data out – often easier said than done). But a pilot project or proof-of-concept demonstrating the “art of the possible” in a business context is different from implementing a Hadoop cluster and expecting the business side to start asking for projects.
Even with the most business-centric approach, there is still the risk that pilot projects are run in isolation, leading to deployments that may address a specific business issue, but without taking the wider business and technology context into consideration. The inevitable result: another data and application silo. Hence the importance of having a big data strategy. But where to start? And what should be taken into consideration? These are the five key areas that you need to tackle:
If you want to dig a little deeper, read our report Strategic Planning For Big Data: Getting It Right. Do let us know what you think, and if you have any additional hints and tips, we’d love to hear them. Feel free to email me directly at email@example.com.
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