Talent, Financial Outlook Crucial to Big Data Strategies

As enterprises around the world embrace Big Data strategies to collect massive volumes of information and transform those resources into meaningful insights, small businesses are left wondering if they can embrace similar tactics to become more competitive. Although Big Data was initially thought to be an endeavor that could only be tackled by large firms, the ongoing evolution of IT services is changing this perspective and giving small companies new opportunities to participate.

A Forbes report highlighted how organizations of all sizes can take advantage of Big Data in at least some way. At the same time, however, decision-makers need to know that they have the proper talent and capabilities needed to tackle these initiatives successfully because deploying ad-hoc Big Data projects won't necessarily introduce the desired opportunities.

Expertise is crucial
Although virtually any firm can embrace Big Data, decision-makers need to be sure their organizations have the talent needed to leverage business intelligence and analytic tools effectively, Forbes noted. Big Data projects require in-depth knowledge about internal operations, industry trends, and objectives as well as technical and analytical skills. In many cases, these needs have led to demand for data scientists.

An EMC study found that 63 percent of businesses believe the need for data scientists will outpace the supply of talent. Because a lack of training is often cited as one of the biggest contributors to this problem, companies need to ensure they have the necessary awareness and education programs in place to develop Big Data scientists internally.

Return on investment
As they would with other technological endeavors, organizations need to ensure their Big Data initiatives generate a positive financial return on investment, Forbes reported. In many cases, analytic strategies work themselves out in the long run by helping firms acquire more customers, retain existing clients, and build a stronger reputation.

If Big Data initiatives are to be successful, executives need to develop algorithms that will recognize when they start experiencing this return—if ever. If decision-makers do discover that their projects don't necessarily offer any financial benefits, they'll need to go back to the drawing board.

The moral of the story is that companies of all sizes and industries can embrace Big Data initiatives if they embrace an innovative and strategic approach that guarantees success in the long run.

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