Big Data and How To Manage It

Data is both common and invaluable and within that data lies insights that could impact an organization’s processes and performance. There are seemingly infinite insights a business can pull from their data and numerous reasons to utilize big data analytics software.

However, many organizations are overwhelmed by the data they have available to them. They don’t have a framework to guide them on how to best leverage the data. They have to answer some fundamental questions for themselves:

  • What is our core work?
  • How do we know we are doing it well?
  • Are we achieving the results we desire?

With the right framework and the right software tools, organizations can develop the right visual analytics to deliver the right information in an easily digestible form to make decisions quickly. Specifically, businesses can see benefits in three areas: data-driven decision-making, enterprise performance management, and actionable insights.

Enable data-driven decision making: Businesses can use data analytics software to drive digital transformation by leveraging data to inform business decisions. Companies can leverage analytics and business intelligence (BI) tools to understand all aspects of the business. This is especially important when looking at resource allocation, be it be people, technology, or financial.

Measure and understand company performance: 
Organizations often leverage data visualization tools to track company key performance indicators (KPIs) in real-time. We look at the key process and outcome measures to determine the health of an organization and to spot areas for process improvement. 

Having the right problem-solving tools is key to success here. It is one thing to know that a part of the organization is under-performing. It is another to know how to find the root cause, make recommendations for improvement, implement the corrective actions, and track the various tasks to ensure success.

Discover new actionable insights: Understanding the performance of your organization is vital. Combining your KPIs with data from your other core systems can reveal information that the performance measures alone may not provide. Combining data from a variety of sources, including your financial systems, customer relations systems, marketing tools, and enterprise resource planning systems can provide actionable insights that you may have otherwise missed.

Other considerations before moving into big data and data analytics include:

  • Data governance model
  • Change management and tool adoption
  • Data security
  • The capability of staff to perform data analysis
  • IT bandwidth within your organization

There are resources available to help augment your organization’s capabilities if they are deficient in any of these areas. Don’t let your organizational short-comings (which are normal for most companies) deter you from moving forward into data analytics and business intelligence. Your return on investment more than makes up for the initial cost of seeking outside assistance.

Further Reading

Thought leaders in Big Data
1. Merv Adrian -Gartner    2. Carla Gentry

Helpful links
For the numbers geeks:
Journal of Big Data – Articles                                                                 

For the rest of us:
Realizing the Potential of Big Data and Analytics

The Big Book of Dashboards: Visualizing Your Data Using Real-World Business Scenarios
The Data Detective: Ten Easy Rules to Make Sense of Statistics

Are you ready to improve your agency’s performance?

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