Having moved on from a period when the focus for leading edge businesses was on experimenting with new capabilities such as Hadoop, 2014 looks set to be characterised as the year of action, not experimentation – running valuable analytics for tangible results.
The good news for later adopters is that there are many lessons they can learn from the innovators. Many of the practical issues are not about the technology; they are about basic data management principles and a focus on tangible business challenges. However, this is not about a costly ‘big bang’ approach to managing big data.
Analytics has played an important role in business for many years. However, for many there have been limitations around going beyond basic reporting and dashboards to using it to drive innovation and business value.
More specifically, whereas traditional analytics has focused on finding the answers to specific, known questions (why is my customer defection rate increasing?), big data offers the chance to enter into unchartered territory and discover new questions and answers (what are the factors that are driving defection and how can I address them?).