Posted May 8, 2017 by admin in articles

How to Become Savvy with the Concept of Big Data


Exclusive article by Lindsey Patterson

Big data is here to stay, and businesses need to get used to this fact. Many businesses are adopting the use of big data to gain a competitive advantage over those that don’t, for whatever reason. With its unending data streams, gathering and storing information, big data will continue to transform the business world in unimaginable ways.

What Is Big Data?

Big data is a collection of information from digital and traditional sources from within or without an organization and embodies a source of ongoing analysis and discovery. While some people like to constrain big data to inputs such as social networks and web behaviour, traditional data derived from interaction channels (point-of-sale and call centres), financial records, and transaction information cannot be excluded. Industry giants like Gartner — a leading global analyst firm — use phrases like volume, velocity, and variety to describe various aspects of big data.

Volume represents the size/amount of data, velocity represents the information generation and flow speed, and variety denotes the type of data available to a company. Big data can help organizations create new business models. Companies can also use the collected data to target markets and use data-driven marketing to increase sales as storage and management of large data amounts is increasingly becoming affordable. Big data fixes anomalies in the supply chain, helps you understand your customer behaviour, and fuels product innovation thus opening up more revenue opportunities for an organization.

However, for a business to be able to take advantage of big data fully, everyone in the company needs to be data savvy. But developing a data savvy workforce is not easy, especially if your company isn’t in the ranks of élite data-driven organizations such as Amazon, Google, or Facebook. Helping your employees adopt a positive attitude towards big data by showing them its benefits is a sure way to help them become savvy with the concept. Here are a few tips to help your employees embrace big data in your organization.

Accept the Fact That Data Is Complementary To Human Insight

More automation and more data in the workplace could be perceived as a threat by some employees — depending on their role in the office. Be sure to remind them that data is practically worthless without human insight. Once they are aware of that, they will embrace the idea of big data and become willing to learn.

Realize That There Is No Such Thing as Perfect Data

There will always be anomalies in data sets. Teach your employees how to obtain, clean and use data in the right ways for the benefit of the organization. Help them learn how to use different applications and tools such as Kafka on AWS (Amazon Web Services), which gives organizations, large and small, a platform to stream data to be used by the company in various ways. These and similar stream processing systems help users receive real time data in much more efficient ways.

Help Your Employees Learn How Data Can Help Them In Their Own Roles

In a business, each different department can gain unique benefits from big data. The sales and marketing team can learn a lot from the data they collect on their leads. HR professionals can use big data to evaluate productivity, time management, and workflow.

Teach Your Employees How To Ask the Right Questions

Some of the biggest setbacks associated with big data are not as a result of the data itself, but because people ask the wrong questions. Rather than just haphazardly working with the data you have, ask yourself what data points you need to solve the problems your business is having at the moment.

Whether you are looking to lead the charge as a business executive or lead the way as a data employee, the above points will help you encourage everybody in your organization to become data savvy.

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