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Big data analytics today lets businesses play moneyball

Thor Olavsrud | Aug. 24, 2012
Hype continues to surround big data analytics. But hype or not, data-driven decision-making is becoming central to management decisions at most enterprises.

"Big data is not new," Schlesinger says. "It's a new term. It's a problem that's becoming more and more prevalent, not due to the volume of data but to the new types of data that we're facing. Unless we face it from the people, process and technology perspectives, we won't be able to get our arms around it."

"Throwing technology at it is just not the answer," he adds. "Technology is a component of it."

How to Approach Big Data

To better make the transition to a data-driven culture, Avanade recommends taking what it calls the MORE approach:

  • Merge. To squeeze the value out of your data, you need to merge data from multiple sources-for instance bringing together structured data like customer information from your CRM with unstructured data like customer sentiment data from social news feeds to gain a more holistic understanding of how customers are responding to your product. The challenge here is in understanding which data to bring together to provide the actionable intelligence you need.
  • Optimize. Not all data is good data. Making decisions faster using data-driven processes is an excellent goal, but if you start with bad data, you'll just be making bad decisions faster. You need to identify, select and capture the optimal data set to make the decisions you need to make. This involves framing the right questions and utilizing the right tools and processes.
  • Respond. Having data and acting on it in a meaningful way are two different things. You need to have the proper reporting tools in place to surface the right information to the people who need it, and those people then need the processes and tools to take action on their insights.
  • Empower. Data can't be locked in silos and it can be the province of a select few. You need to train your staff to recognize and act on big data insights.


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