Five Key Characteristics Of Companies Using Big Data
Data pours into organisations from almost every angle imaginable. Small and Medium Sized Enterprises can easily collect gigabytes of data per day, startups can effortlessly reach terabytes of data per day and online organisations can even generate petabytes of data per day without any problem. However, simply having massive amounts of data is not enough to become an information-centric organisation and to stand apart and stay ahead of the competition. So, what are the key characteristics of companies who successfully implemented a big data strategy?
1. Information centric culture
Organisations that have successfully implemented a big data strategy know that data alone is useless. It is all about doing the correct analysis on that data to retrieve the information necessary to make the correct business decisions. Companies with a successful big data strategy have an information-centric culture where all employees are fully aware of the possibilities of well-analysed and visualized information. The better the information is visualized, the better your decisions will be. Enabling all employees to have access to data insights, changes the power balance within organisations as access to knowledge empowers employees. Organisations that have successfully implemented a big data strategy, have empowered their staff to make the right decisions based on data analytics insights.
2. A drive for innovation and staying ahead of the pack
Big data allows organisations to stay ahead of the competition and to constantly re-invent themselves. These organisations are doing everything to lead the market. They are innovators and early-adopters concerning new technologies and their drive for innovation caused them to implement a big data strategy already years ago. If you want to take full advantage of a big data strategy, your organisation has to move to big data today, as big data has already become a commodity. Already, any business is a data business and ignoring big data any longer can significantly harm your business.
3. Centralized data storage frenzy
Big data is all about massive amounts of data, millions of gigabytes per day or even more. So, to start with big data, you need to have big data. A strong characteristic of big data organisations is that they collect data of absolutely everything: social media data, log data, sensor data, etc. It is important to store now and decide later if you need it. You can always decide to leave out data in your analysis but you cannot analyse data you do not have. The price of data storage should not be a barrier anymore. Therefore, store whatever you can get your hands on and store it in a centralized location to prevent a balkanized IT infrastructure. This means, removing your data silos in order to mix and match your available internal and external data.
4. Data-driven products
In order to collect data, ensure that all products that you offer are able to collect data. For online products, it is easy to obtain this, but more and more offline products can collect massive amounts of data as well. Rolls Roys engines collect 100s of gigabytes during flights and TomTom receives around 5.5 billion datasets per day from its navigations used around the world. The same goes for automotive companies who include hundreds of sensors in their cars to monitor how they are doing and plan maintenance appointments before the car breaks down. Finally John Deere, who adds intelligent sensors to its tractors to monitor the machine’s operations, but more importantly to monitor the grounds and crop constituents. The more data that is collected, the better your big data strategy works. Therefore, start collecting it like never before!
5. Data scientists on the payroll
Analysing data is a difficult task with terabytes of different types of data, although many big data startups claim that their product does not require an expensive IT department (big data scientist are expensive). All organisations with a big data strategy have at least one data scientist on the payroll. If you are a large organisation, you should have a lot more data scientists on the payroll. Well-trained data scientist are no longer a luxury and they can help you figure out the right questions you need to ask in order to get the right answers to take advantage of all the data available. Be sure to treat them well, because they are still in high demand.
Don’t wait, start now
Big data has lost its novelty and millions of organisations are already developing a big data strategy. Therefore, don’t wait till it is too late and you are left behind by your competitors (they might not even exist yet). Start collecting massive amounts of data, remove your data silos, hire or train your data scientists and change your culture to an information-centric organisation.