Sunday, August 19, 2012

Five Senses to Make Sense of Big Data

Big Data will sharpen business’s sense and sensitivity; and the five senses can also help make sense of Big Data.

Big Data opens up a new chapter for predictive analytics, however, Big Data is so new, a little bit messy, and the tools are also at developing stage to present the complete picture customers need. There seems to be some uncertainty about the value proposition, the ROI of big data, and about the tools that would let people take advantage of it.

So the company should do some further preparation & experiementing before jumping in the new Big Data technologies such as: Hadoop, MapReduce, NoSQL, and NewSQL. In order to prepare for the Big Data journey, besides 5W+1H navigation roadmap brainstormed earlier, we may also take advantage of Five Big Senses to make sense of Big Data. Five senses are human’s natural capabilities to adapt to living environment, connect to nature, and experience the life, Five senses may also bring some new perspectives & imagination in Big Data, find new angles to manage it and new lenses to look at it.  

1.  Smell Data

Big Data like running river, continues to grow, merge into data Sea, with volume, velocity and variety. Where is data coming from? Operation data such as financial data, logistic data and HR data come from organizational supply chain, customer data from CRM/marketing, and big data from social/mobile/cloud/RFID, the deeper the data sea, the more hidden treasure is undiscovered, and more danger when navigate it.

If Big Data is like big sea, then it may just smell like ocean, one time it is fresh, the other time, it smells salty, can you smell the big fish--the distinctive opportunities such as revenue growth or cost optimization or the big threatening risks as shark approaching, or do you smell the sea grass or coral , the delightful chances to serve customers better,

Data is more like water, fresher is better, but if too little or too shallow, there’s no fish in it, being able to process and analyze your data as soon as possible is critical to gain competitive business advantage, however, the effective data management including data collection, data storage, data cleansing and data quality., are all necessary steps for treasure hunt.

2.  Listen to Data:

Big Data may also like a piece of music palyed remotely, inundated with many voices and noises, it takes effort and focus to capture & amplify it.

Big Data such as customers’ feedback, and employee’s opinions, one voice maybe a noise, but collective data is chorus, and statistic analytics such as sentiment analysis (Discover the positive and negative opinions about a product or brand),  gap analysis (helps companies compare actual performance with potential performance) will directly drive such as pricing strategy, customer insight, supply chain optimization and strategic workforce planning.

Big Data can make contribution to pricing strategy.  Pricing is one of the most powerful levers for improving profitability. Clear feedback loops so pricing teams can assess effectiveness and adjust as needed. Research shows that price management initiatives can increase a company’s margins by 2 to 7 percent in 12 months—yielding an ROI between 200 and 350 percent.

By listening Big Data, business can answer fundamental business questions—such as “Who is my most profitable customer?” and “What is my most profitable product or region?”

3. Feel Data

Feeling is through heart, not always from mind, feeling the pulse of business heartbeat means deeply customers’ participation and employees’ engagement.

Feeling the data to diagnose the business illness at the key arena via pondering the right questions:
  • What's the management’s decision point in key strategic issues?
  • What’s the touch point to engage employees and improve productivity
  • What’s customers’ pain point and how to optimize customer life cycle management
  • What’s the leverage point when bridging strategy and execution
  • What’s the tipping point to inspire the culture of innovation & change management
  • What’s the inflection point to take advantage of the new process and technology

The first step in making the most of your analytic DNA is to assess your current capabilities. Feel the data is to diagnose and determine the company’s current maturity and where the gap is, it also helps executives more clearly understand both the internal and external factors affecting profitability at a granular level and strategic level.

 4. See Through Data

Almost all organizations are aware of the potential of Big Data & Predictive Analysis, but very few have defined and articulated an enterprise vision and strategy for using it.

When we look at the Big Data Sea, what do we see, how to perceive it?
Do we see the data ocean like blue diamond under the sun, or the gray limestone through the shadow? Do we see the ebbs and flows, beauty of sea life, or the danger of whirling tides? Do we capture the color theme, the myth of pattern and the symbol of life in Big Data sea.

We should look for those enchanting pictures of data, also the missing pieces of data, Big Data can envision the mega-trends of business and its ecosystem, data insight and foresight provide the scientific scenario analytics via asking what are the trends, what is going to happen, and what are the best could be happened., etc.

See & Perceive Data: It's all about business perception via better visualized perceive the future of business Such big data insight will help leaders use a multi-faceted approach to business, integrating strategy, execution, governance, analytics, technology, and compliance. All are essential for capturing the full picture of high performance business.

5.    Taste Data

 Crunching data, not for swallowing, which may cause indigestion; small taste first will help find sweet spot, or learning some bitter lessons and hot, spicy trends. 

·       Tasting Data is like to have salad, need add some dressing, messy but creamy, made of the organic fruit and vegetables, have it to keep enterprise body fit;

·       Tasting Data is like to eat ice cream, to cool down irrational decisions or energize your business mood, it should be a delightful experience.

·       Tasting Data is like to try spicy food, stimulate business’s appetite, keep employees’ morale on;  

·       Tasting Data is like to drink juice, the juice is made of fresh fruit, and insight and wisdom is extracted from data,  essential matters;

·       Tasting Data  is also like to have a cup of coffee or tea, bitter, but energize you thinking….

Using five senses to make sense of Big Data, Big Data will sharpen business’s sense and sensitivity; to capture the full picture of future of business, so organization can well understand the challenges and better evaluate Big Data Life Cycle Management solutions, such as how to deploy it, secure it, govern it, persist it, make sense of it, to achieve the expected business results and goals.


Big Data Technologies becoming a popular trend within in the CRM software community

true, social CRM is new version of CRM.

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