Many organizations hesitate to take full advantage of the power of big data, even though they understand the value. In fact, “46% of manufacturers agree that implementing and using data analytics is no longer optional.” Yet organizations continue to postpone incorporating big data solutions into their decision making. The primary reason for this hesitation is the belief that all business intelligence projects must be a massive project; which more often than not yield limited results.
It’s time to remove this cultural roadblock. Thanks to technological advances in areas such as cognitive machine learning and artificial intelligence, big data solutions no longer demand big projects or big budgets. Company cultures and decision making processes have simply failed to keep up with technological advances. Business intelligence initiatives can and do yield quick results without large investment processes and complex budget considerations.
How do organizations benefit from big data projects without going through a formal budget process? A cost center budget typically allows for consulting time. This consulting time can be used to turn ideas into reality and to build a linear scalable process for continued quick wins.
The answer is in a change of mindset, to quit overthinking the budgeting process and earn your first win!
Garnering Your First Quick Win with Big Data
Dispelling a Common Myth
Most organizations can realize a benefit from a big data project in as little as 3 months. This short time-to-value is a quick win. Unfortunately, many organizations assume that because their technology team is used to implementing new services and software, this same team can develop a big data solution to a defined deliverable. Rarely is this the case.
My first tip in successfully implementing your first big data win is this: “It’s not a science project.”
We’ve had the opportunity to work with organizations who fully understood the benefits of what big data could do for their organization, but who failed to recognize the expertise necessary to produce a win. Their first attempt at integrating big data was to create a Proof of Concept (POC) around one or more desired deliverables. Their technologists were then set free to ‘play’ with the data to achieve the desired deliverable. The challenge with this internal POC methodology is that to successfully implement a big data solution, there needs to be a solid plan, an understanding of the data and technology, and a command of the 1000+ big data vendors.
Why spend 12 months in spin cycle with no results when your organization can benefit in as little as 3 months?
Quick Wins Require a Plan and Expertise
Realizing time-to-value from a data analytics project is essential for a quick win. When an organization focuses on a single quick win by incorporating big data into their operations, they build momentum for more wins. The key is to work with experts who understand their needs, opportunities and challenges, and who can envision the cost reductions, new revenue streams and benefits of real-time data that today’s business intelligence offers. A technology service provider such as River Point Technology will walk you and your team through the process.
What can you expect in working to achieve your first quick win? The service provider will focus on upfront planning. They will work with you to define a use case for a specific problem and then create a strategy to accomplish that goal. They will consider what data and technology you currently have and which you do not yet have. They will then vet products and services from the more than one thousand big data providers to determine those that best fit your organizational needs.
Upon completion of the planning phase, the service provider will help you execute the strategy for the use case. They will implement cognitive machine learning and big data analytics in a way that excludes human biases, which otherwise would lead to inaccurate and flawed solutions. Throughout the process, they will also ensure that your internal resources are not overburdened and can continue to produce against their day-to-day or other project goals.
How can your industry benefit from quick wins?
Quick Wins by Industry
Organizations in every industry stand to benefit from incorporating big data into their operations. Below are samples of how manufacturing, energy and logistics companies can benefit. For more details, refer to our recent post 5 Ways Organizations Can Monetize Their Data.
Manufacturing: The manufacturing industry stands to gain significant cost reductions from less material wastes, increased operational efficiencies, and reduced maintenance and replacement of capital assets. Big data can help manufacturing companies
- – increase yield optimization by incorporating real-time data into production processes
- – use predictive analytics to trigger warnings of equipment failures
- – improve supply chain optimization for increased ROI
Energy: The energy industry experiences on-going challenges with managing the flow within their supply chain and knowing exactly how much gas or oil to extract from a well at any given moment. Big data can help energy companies
- – measure supply and flows real-time via Internet of Things (IoT)
- – benefit from predictive maintenance, saving costly repairs
- – manage inventory at any point along the supply chain
Logistics: With Uber and others becoming a threat to major organizations such as FedEx, the ability to intercept a route for same day delivery becomes critical. Big data can help logistics companies
- – achieve same day delivery
- – manage demand
- – recognize new sources of revenue
With so many opportunities to produce a win for your organization, the next question becomes “Which win should we go for first?”
Contributing to Your Organization’s Profits with Quick Wins
As a leader managing a department, you are faced with many decisions. Being responsible for managing your costs and effectively using your budget is key, as is supporting revenue-producing units within your organization. Producing a quick win for your organization by incorporating business intelligence and big data achieves all these objectives.
You most likely can use your departmental budget to contribute to your company’s profit. Big data services typically utilize a cost center’s consulting hours and/or funds allocated for the cloud. By using these funds to define and execute a use case, you have the opportunity to garner a quick win using business intelligence that will
- – increase your organization’s profit
- – accomplish your department’s objectives
- – improve your cost center’s performance
- – control costs
If you have an expiring budget, using these funds for an organizational win all but ensures your cost center budget will be secured for the next year.
The big surprise of big data: Big data projects do not need to fall under capital expenditures. Instead of using expiring budgets on hardware or software that you may not need, invest in the power of big data for an organizational win.
Do you have a quick win would you like to accomplish for your organization? Contact me personally at jeiben@RiverPointTechnology.com.
About Jeff Eiben: Jeff Eiben is principal owner of River Point Technology, a Pittsburgh, PA-based company that offers comprehensive data assessments and a unique implementation methodology that helps companies visualize the benefits of data-driven solutions. Eiben can be reached directly at jeiben@RiverPointTechnology.com. More information is available at www.riverpointtechnology.com.