Three steps to finding your Big Data advantage
We all rely on data. Now, more than ever, businesses are beginning to wise up to the benefits of analysing their Big Data streams. But figuring out how data can be useful to your business – large or small – is often the trickiest part.
You want to obtain information from your data that will support you in your decision-making, but you don’t know which data exactly, and critically, to what goal? As companies continue to tighten the purse strings, executives need to evaluate their company’s need for a data strategy with minimal budgets and can do this by following three simple steps – Explore, Quantify, Act.
Evaluate what you are looking for first – are you in need of better planning systems or more accurate sales forecasting? This will allow management to make an informed decision and helps to make big data projects successful.
Analyse your enterprise processes and how you deal with data in your existing systems. It’s important to ask what the data you already have provides. Is it sufficient for a predictive application? Even at this early stage, you should be able to understand whether the prerequisites for predictive analytics exist in your enterprise.
Once you have these, enlist a data analytics company to work with your key decision-makers. This partnership will provide the business with a view of your data world and identify what you can learn from it using predictive applications.
The next stage is to evaluate to what extent the data can be related to the defined goal variables. Your data structure needs to be measured and analysed. This includes understanding correlations on target variables, checking for sufficient statistics as well as the quality of the target variable and sufficient significance of the correlations.
Here at Blue Yonder, for example, we determine whether the predictive applications developed in the Explore phase are realisable. We estimate the expected forecast quality based on the existing data and potentially, a comparison with classical and existing processes.
At this stage, your chosen analytics company can assess the business potential that a forecast solution offers. They will present you with concrete implementation steps order to run a productive and valuable data program. You’ll have an understanding of the forecastability of your organisation’s data and together, you can understand what economic value your individual predictive analytics project will bring.
Through the analysis of your Big Data streams you will know what economic value your predictive analytics project will bring because you have created the prerequisites for productively operating a valuable solution.
Dr. Alexander Beck is a Principal Consultant at Blue Yonder. His main focus is on developing use cases in the context of big data analytics and evaluating their business values.