Big data is everywhere. It is one of the hottest topics in business, health, entertainment, etc. But what would the data mean for your company?
Do you really need them? Are you ready for the changes they could bring? Even if you are ready and willing, can you afford it? Properly managed, data can profoundly change your business, but poorly or poorly managed can bring more harm than good.
Asha Saxena, a member of YPO, the global leadership community, is an expert in big data. No one believes in the power of big data more than she does, but she also knows that the right circumstances are needed for data to have a lasting positive impact. For 20 years, Saxena was CEO, and today she is Chairman of the Board of Future Technologies, Inc., a consulting firm focused on big data analysis and management for private companies and the government. Saxena is also the founder and chief innovation officer of Aculyst, an analytics firm that helps healthcare providers improve clinical, financial and operational outcomes.
Below, we expose the most important myths about big data, according to Asha Saxena.
- Big data is always the way to go
Everyone is using it, so am I! According to Saxena, big data is not for all companies. With all the talk about big data, anyone can be tempted to use it, but do you really need it? “Our company should use big data because this is how we are going to move forward.” And that may be a good strategy, but are you ready for it? Do you know what a data maturity model is? Data can be an incredibly powerful engine of success. But before you start using them you must make sure you understand what you are getting into and how it could affect your company.
- Big data is about collecting all the data
In big data, people confuse quantity with quality. “People think you need to collect a lot of data. But it’s not about the volume! ” Saxena states. There is so much information available today that it’s more about harnessing it than gathering every part of it. “In the past, all technology was created for highly structured and organized data. They had to be in ordered rows and columns. But today, much of the data is unstructured. Now we have images, movies, social networks … it’s all data! You need to know what you are looking for, “he explains.
- Big data can help you find all the answers
Big data can provide many answers, but it requires asking the right questions. “People are confused about it. They are not sure what to do with the data, ”says Saxena. “People think, ‘If we collect all the data, we can find all the answers.’ But if you ask the wrong question and collect the wrong data, you will never find the right answers, “he says. “Having data doesn’t make sense unless you get value from it. So what kind of value do you get from your data? ” Big data can be very unappealing when you don’t know what to do with it.
- Big data can be implemented by hiring specialists
“It is not about hiring the smartest person to implement a big data system,” says Saxena. “It’s about having the right person. He is someone who knows what your needs are and can implement the big data architecture to achieve it ”, he explains. But even the right people need the right circumstances to prosper. Saxena advises: “The person in charge must have the appropriate infrastructure. You must understand not only what the next step is, but what is the correct path to get to the next step. It is a complete mentality of people and culture ”he explains. Everyone should be on the same line about the company’s vision and the role that data will play.
- Big data means a lot of money
A while ago, this might have been true, but not anymore. “On legacy systems, you had to collect the data, run the report, and then analyze everything. This took time and there was a lot of latency, “he recalls. Today, time and money work very differently with data: they are much faster and cost much less money. “People think big data is a great investment, but it doesn’t have to be expensive!” He suggests: “Explore cloud services from Amazon or Google. You can use them for individual projects at very reasonable prices. Start small and build on that success. ”
Again, however, you must have the right environment set up and the right people to implement what you learn. “As long as those elements are in place, you can make the project a success!” Saxena says.
Learn to crawl before you walk and create the right atmosphere for data to drive success in your business.