The Clarity Blog
If you’re looking to fill your inbox with more email, just set up a Google alert for “big data.” As the topic du jour for everyone from techies to marketers, there’s no shortage of information on the topic, and no shortage of experts predicting the “big” potential for big data solutions. As with any emerging field, the challenge becomes deciding which information to pay attention to, and which experts are actually big data practitioners, and not just trend-chasers.
While the subject is certainly trendy, the fact is that big data is here to stay, and offers huge potential to organizations that can carpe data.
So how big is big data? We know the market is large, and growing at a 40 percent-a-year growth rate. We know the corporate need is significant, for both solutions and the people that can deliver them. We know that emerging technologies that initially impact enterprise-level organizations eventually trickle down to the small and medium business level as well (look no further than the rapid explosion of web analytics over the past decade for proof). Given all of that, does it really matter whether we’re talking about terabytes, zettabytes, or petabytes?
What does matter, however, is giving companies an easier path to address the big data possibilities inside their organization. Internal champions are struggling to establish the business case, and that is where the concept of new data comes into play. Too many companies are stuck on the idea that a big data initiative requires a complicated process of ordering, racking, stacking, buying networking hardware (even if it’s cheap) and then loading and configuring software (even if it’s free). For a marketing executive who is primarily concerned with getting better insight into a Facebook advertising campaign or tracking how Twitter activity impacts client sentiment, it’s daunting to think about “bothering” the IT team with these seemingly complex requirements.
With new data, both the marketing exec and the IT team can deliver big data insights faster, with better accuracy, and cheaper. It does not require a team of data scientists and big data experts to get started. Nor does it require a cluster of hardware or any kind of security control—after all, we’re talking about public information. This new data is immensely valuable. When our clients first see a NEW data solution, they are like kids in a candy store, except they not only want to select and consume the candy, they want to start figuring out what other types of candy they can create. From new, you can easily expand to big, but at your pace and with your specific needs in mind. And all without a huge upfront investment of hardware, software or human capital.
The analysts are right—companies that do not take advantage of big (new) data will indeed get left behind.
Challenge your leaders and coworkers to consider those new data opportunities that you may be missing, listen to the right experts, and you will find that big data will start to feel invigorating, not daunting.