August 2015

Three Signs Your Big Data is Going to Waste

Big data is everywhere. Entire companies have sprung up saying they can produce it, mine it, slice it, dice it, present it, sell it, and even make predictions based on it. And just about every company is examining how they can leverage their data to reduce costs, increase productivity and produce new revenue. Companies are spending a lot of time, effort, and resources to find that holy grail of data.

Even though data mining and analytical tools have the ability to potentially predict some sort of future, these are no more than diamonds in the rough. Data pros know they are worth something to their operation (potentially a lot), but most people don’t know what to do to turn that data into action. It’s rare to find an organization that is not wasting the true potential of big data. How do you know if your company is wasting this diamond mine?

Here are three signs:

  • Your data can’t answer the questions, “What do I do now?” “Which of my resources do I deploy for what demand to get the most out of my operations from a customer service and profitability perspective?” Predictive analytics focus on a potential future. But what about the right now? When you turn data into action through optimal decision-making, this data becomes much more valuable and productive
  • You can’t react to disruptions in real-time. Operations should be able to adapt in real-time to produce the best possible outcomes given changes and disruptions that occur. When something breaks down in your resource chain, or when new demand comes in, the data at your disposal should turn actionable and provide you with updated operational plans.
  • You rely on human intuition vs using data to make intelligent, informed, and integrated decisions. Even with the best big data and predictive analytics systems, many companies are still using intuition to make their final operational decisions. This is very limiting and does not maximize the value of the data available. Our human minds can only retain and analyze so much information at once, and do so in a consistent, scalable, and repeatable manner.

If your data is not working for you in real-time, all the time, dynamically generating the most optimal decision for your operation at any point in time, regardless of changes and disruptions, then it’s time to rethink your data strategy.