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Kelle O'Neal

Thanks for joining our data conversation! This blog is an opportunity to share the real life challenges, opportunities and approaches to improving the quality and value of data in your organization. We will write about everything data related from translating "data" speak into "business" speak, to governance models, to the real differences among the myriad software tools available. But there's one catch: we all have to agree to toss out the fluff. That's right, no 30,000 foot, theoretical strategies that leave you wondering how to execute and actually improve performance. Visit regularly to learn from peers and partners on how they are managing and improving data, and we hope you'll also share your views and experiences.

About the author >

As Founder and Managing Partner of First San Francisco Partners, Kelle O’Neal manages specialist data governance and data management consulting services to complex organizations that deliver faster time to results. Kelle can be reached at kelle@firstsanfranciscopartners.com or through the First San Francisco Partners website.

Follow First San Francisco Partners on Twitter at @1stSanFrancsico.

Editor's Note: Find more articles and resources in Kelle's BeyeNETWORK Expert Channel. Be sure to visit today!


Why should organizational leaders pay attention to big data and big data management? Why must organizational leaders start identifying and assessing opportunities to capture and analyze big data? How do you unlock the value of big data to help your business?

In order to answer these questions, it is important to first look at a few challenges and roadblocks with the current business environment that all start with people, process or technology.

Most organizations today are faced with increasing data volumes and complexity. Data users are demanding quick access and an easy understanding of the data to address timely and important business questions.

Current data analysis technologies and data management structures are inflexible and no longer work in this new era of big data (e.g. they have reached or exceeded their maximum data volume size). Traditional analytical techniques and data management structures are lacking. When it comes to policies and processes, there is a lack of full clarity on data ownership and responsibility, usage and management. Rules and policies to track data security, privacy, retention, consumption and usage are limited.

And today customers are more knowledgeable and sophisticated. They demand organizations understand all their relationships, transactions and interactions across multiple channels. 

Better information is required to compete in this current environment. High quality data is needed for effective decision making and to take action based upon newly revealed insights. Organizations should consider capturing, managing and analyzing big data to solve these business challenges and gain a competitive advantage in the marketplace.

According to research done by McKinsey Global Institute, big data will become a key basis of innovation, competition, productivity and growth. To aggressively compete and gain value from big data, executives must understand and address the implication of big data to the organization.

How does one derive and measure the value an organization could gain by investing in big data management and big data governance? What are the benefits of big data?

According to research done by McKinsey Global Institute, big data creates value in several ways. Organizations can use big data to achieve competitive advantage by harnessing it to perform more complex analyses, which provide an opportunity to find new insights in the data and content. Big data also enables organizations to be more agile with an ability to answer questions that were previously considered beyond reach. Executives and business stakeholders can now make better management decisions based on facts. Big data also enables executives to have more precise forecasts and adjust business levers accordingly because the organization now has the ability to understand every transaction versus analyzing a particular predefined data set from a traditional data warehouse. The insights from big data can truly help to increase operating margins, drive efficiency improvements and productivity gains, and improve customer satisfaction.

Big data can provide unique insights into customer behavior, satisfaction and preferences, allowing organizations to create specific customer segmentations and tailor products and services precisely to meet those needs. Access to this insightful, timely data allows organizations to identify changes in customer behavior quickly and launch targeted customer retention programs or marketing campaigns by creating specific messages or promotions. Organizations can also tailor new or existing products and services to more quickly and precisely meet customer needs.

Big data can enable organizations to identify new growth opportunities by using data obtained from external sources to improve the development of the next generation of products, drive more innovation and be alerted to alternative and additional supplier solutions. For example, manufacturers are using data obtained from the use of their products via social media data to improve the development of the next generation of products and to create innovative service offerings.

The use of big data is becoming a key way for leading organizations to outdo their peers. Executives and senior leadership need to embrace big data as a valuable and competitive asset.

How is big data adding value to your organization? Share with us your success stories!

Posted November 28, 2012 3:59 PM
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