I’m often approached by clients, colleagues, and friends asking: “What’s this Big Data/NoSQL thing I keep hearing about?” Oftentimes they’ve been told that these are the buzzwords that will help them get answers from the plethora of data out there. However, like any tool, it won’t help solve a problem unless used effectively. As an SEI consultant, I’ve often worked with my clients to help evaluate if Big Data and the other trendy buzzwords in tech could actually help solve their problems. At a recent Data Management forum, I presented information on the different uses for newer Data Management technologies, like Big Data and NoSQL, when compared to traditional relational solutions.
Collaboration is becoming increasingly important in the business environment driven by the rapid flow of information, need for quicker business decisions, increasing pace of innovation, and competitive pressure. Yet, it’s been difficult to get a consensus on the precise definition of collaboration. However, some key characteristics common to meaningful collaboration are:
I recently read an article attributing Peter Drucker with coining the phrase “Culture Eats Strategy for Breakfast”. Upon some informal research, I found the quote was contested by different commenters on which is more important – Strategy or Culture. Some argued culture has to be designed to support strategy, while others said culture always trumps strategy. The saying seems designed more for personal interpretation by the reader than a concise business principle. While the quote seems to be fodder for management articles, it prompted me to think about culture from my professional experience in both industry and consulting roles.
The combination of Big Data technologies and a smart approach to analytics can provide organizations with improved customer insights and a move toward data-driven decision making. However, the keys to successful development of new capabilities include both process champions and change agents to facilitate a smooth transition. Effective Change Management and Change Leadership are integral components of capturing the benefits of Big Data.
Rising out of the Big Data movement and dubbed the “Sexiest Job in the Next Decade”, Data Scientists are in hot demand. New online courses and university programs are popping up to remedy the looming skills shortage. Big Data conferences are filled with professionals wanting to discover the magical path to the next golden professional. Akin to Big Data, the purpose of Data Science is not well understood.
Big Data is polarizing. The concept can elicit both overzealous enthusiasm and pointed disdain depending on the audience. Recent trends in the technology press show a strong backlash to counter the hype over the last few years. As with most developing trends, both camps have valid points but the practical approach lies somewhere in the middle.