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Plan Success into Your Next Big Data Project Featured

Plan Success into Your Next Big Data Project Estée Janssens

Big data is now one of the leading investments among businesses. For this reason, companies that have massive volumes of data within their reach such as Facebook and Amazon, among others are minting millions of dollars by leveraging on this golden resource. While the private sector seems to be ahead in big data projects, the public sector also has not been left too far behind. Government entities are now looking to leverage the available data to serve the citizens better. A recent report by IBM Center for The Business of Government noted that the government must plan their big data initiatives properly to achieve success. Here are some steps you should consider when planning your success in big data projects:

  1. Define your use case

Before embarking on any big data project, identify your goals such as cost reduction, faster decision-making, and customer loyalty as well as new revenue streams and how you will measure success. Concentrate on what will be of value to your business. Ask questions such as, what are the key business requirements? How do these requirements relate to the target group? Why did the past attempts to achieve those goals fail? What is the budget required? What are the necessary skills? Answers to these questions will offer a solid ground to begin a successful big data project.

  • Autonomy

Autonomy is the mother of creativity among the employees. The decentralization of decision-making gives employees the mandate to come up with their own ideas. The executives need to know whether the employees can use data to create solutions of their own. This requires a top engagement of many people and groups at different levels of the organization. Autonomy is crucial for creating and launching new initiatives and for learning and adapting to the processes that are already in place. 

  • Define the opportunity presented by the big data project

As you think about your first big data project, focus on the direct benefit of the project on the organization and its stakeholders. Ensuring the opportunity is broad at the beginning allows for flexibility to engage other stakeholders and gives them an opportunity to shape the program. Outlining the broad opportunity should be done in the form of a working paper or position paper by the CIOs. These papers look at the existing opportunities within the organization for improved management. The paper is the foundation for strategic discussions and deliberations among the stakeholders.

  • Get the right technology

A good definition of the problem and correct analysis of the opportunities presented is not enough to get to make you successful in big data projects. Rather, you must have the right technology to support your vision. As you begin on a big data initiative, ask yourself if the technology you have can deliver the solution. Although you can have all the data and ideas at hand, if the technology is not good enough, you will get no value for investment. It is important that any big data solution has sufficient technology to deliver success. 

  • Advocate for privacy and security

Many organizations often focus on other things but overlook privacy and security in their big data projects. This is the beginning of future problems associated with the loss of data. CIOs must become privacy and security advocates when working on big data initiatives. They must be aware of considerations and changes in their environment as this will be critical in their long-term success. Ensuring privacy and security in handling data is good for customers and stakeholders who will have no reason to doubt the big data initiatives. Also, the ethical considerations around the collection of data, as well as integration and dissemination must be discussed openly and with due sincerity. Always seek clarity from legal practitioners.

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Scott Koegler

Scott Koegler is Executive Editor for Big Data & Analytics Tech Brief

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