5 Easy Steps to Embed Big Data in Your Business

5 Easy Steps to Embed Big Data in Your Business
đź‘‹ Hi, I am Mark. I am a strategic futurist and innovation keynote speaker. I advise governments and enterprises on emerging technologies such as AI or the metaverse. My subscribers receive a free weekly newsletter on cutting-edge technology.

For many organisations, it is still difficult to understand what Big Data is and how it should be incorporated into their business. This is quite understandable, as Big Data offers such radical and disruptive new possibilities as well as requires a dramatic cultural change for many organisations. The past weeks I have been thinking a lot about this and how this process could be simplified. Because when more organisations understand how to embed Big Data in their business, the more it will drive innovation and economic growth.

We know by now that Big Data can have a big impact on any part of your organisation. However, when I talk to organisations, I still get many questions about how they should start with Big Data and what they should do to become data-driven.

Well, as it turns out, there is a rather simple five-step approach that could help any organisation to datafy their business and processes. These steps are:

  1. Determine the Different Processes to be Improved
  2. Determine the Stakeholders Involved
  3. Turn Connections and Processes into Binary Code
  4. Start Mixing and Analyzing the Different Data Sources
  5. Continuously Improve Your Analytics with Machine Learning

Let’s discuss them one by one:

1) Determine the Different Processes to be Improved

To incorporate data into your business processes, it is, of course, important to first determine the different processes we are talking about. What you want to do is to datafy these processes to improve them. But if you don’t know which processes are in place, it becomes rather difficult.

To dissect your organisation’s processes to a very detailed level. Specify each process into sub-processes that can be made into even smaller processes. Make the different processes as small as possible and define each possible step required in a certain business process.

2) Determine the Stakeholders Involved

Each process requires certain stakeholders. Once you have a clear understanding of the different processes that make up a certain business solution or question, you should start to define who the different stakeholders are that are connected to those processes.

It is important to define who these stakeholders are in every step of the process that you have defined. This should give you information about how the stakeholders are linked with each other and how they communicate with each other. The objective is to get a detailed overview of how the processes work, who is involved, when, where and why.

3) Turn Connections and Processes into Binary Code

Once you have a very detailed overview of a process, it is time to turn the different steps and connections between stakeholders into binary code. So, what should you do to digitize the different steps? Because, once it can be captured by data, it can be stored, processed, analyzed and visualized.

In addition, determine what needs to be done to achieve that. What should you change within the different process to capture data? Which data should you capture at all and where can you get that data? Do you need to obtain new data? Can you capture the data internally or should you obtain the data externally, for example via public data marketplaces?

The objective is to turn every single step into data.

4) Start Mixing and Analyzing the Different Data Sources

Once you have been able to turn the different processes and connections between the stakeholders into data, something magical happens.

All of a sudden, you can combine the different data sets, mix them with each other, analyze them and obtain great insights that can improve your processes drastically.

For example, in case you want to optimize a certain process and reduce the inefficiencies, you determine which datasets you require, which data you already have and which datasets you need to acquire. Those data sets can then be used to improve the processes by gaining new insights, finding outliers or determining patterns in the processes that indicate certain, potentially unexpected, relationships. The information derived from the analysis will help decision-makers improve the different processes and as such the organization.

The advantage of starting with very small steps within a process is that it remains doable. Each organization that wants to develop a Big Data strategy has to start small and grow from there. This process helps you achieve just that.

5) Continuously Improve Your Analytics with Machine Learning

The final step would be to use machine learning and artificial intelligence to improve the algorithms you use for analysis. When logging what happens during the different processes as well as during the analysis of the different processes, more data is created that can be used to improve the algorithms.

Better algorithms mean better insights, resulting in improved processes. It becomes a cyclical process that ensures continuous improvement in your processes and as such an incremental improvement in your organization as a whole.

Although this approach is easier said than done, it is something that any organization should start doing as soon as possible. Define which processes make up your business, determine the different stakeholders and connections between them and find out how you can digitize them. Datafied processes can be combined, mixed and analyzed for better results and with ever-improving algorithms, your organization becomes more and more prepared for the Big Data era ahead of us. Good luck and don’t hesitate to contact us if you have questions datafying your business.

Image: Rawpixel.com/Shutterstock

Dr Mark van Rijmenam

Dr Mark van Rijmenam

Dr. Mark van Rijmenam is a strategic futurist known as The Digital Speaker. He stands at the forefront of the digital age and lives and breathes cutting-edge technologies to inspire Fortune 500 companies and governments worldwide. As an optimistic dystopian, he has a deep understanding of AI, blockchain, the metaverse, and other emerging technologies, and he blends academic rigour with technological innovation.

His pioneering efforts include the world’s first TEDx Talk in VR in 2020. In 2023, he further pushed boundaries when he delivered a TEDx talk in Athens with his digital twin , delving into the complex interplay of AI and our perception of reality. In 2024, he launched a digital twin of himself offering interactive, on-demand conversations via text, audio or video in 29 languages, thereby bridging the gap between the digital and physical worlds – another world’s first.

As a distinguished 5-time author and corporate educator, Dr Van Rijmenam is celebrated for his candid, independent, and balanced insights. He is also the founder of Futurwise , which focuses on elevating global digital awareness for a responsible and thriving digital future.


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