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Edd Dumbill on Transforming Big Data Into Business Value

DBTA published a summary of Edd Dumbill’s talk on Transforming Big Data into Business Value

Here are some things that jumped out to us here at FlockData.

To fully exploit the opportunity of big data tools and architectures, a new way of thinking is required, one that frames data as raw material. And, to transform data into value, IT must move from thinking about what it does to data, and instead focus on business outcomes and what can be done with the data to advance the business, according to Dumbill.

We couldn’t agree more. In many of the conversations we have with customers, we end up talking about what we call the bits and bytes (most commonly how to store it, what technologies to use), instead of what’s in the data.

Today, more than ever, it is important to connect technology and business value. IT must consider how to articulate how the cost of the data systems relates to the benefits to the business; and articulate how the technology philosophy enables business aspirations. Any big data project, said Dumbill, has to start with business people because that is where it will be judged.

That’s a very crucial point, but often misunderstood or not appreciated. We’ve met with customers where only the IT team was represented, and inevitably, that can’t be the conversation where final decisions are made.

IT can’t succeed without business and business can’t succeed without IT, he emphasized. Big data projects succeed when there is a project with a goal that is defined, and can be accomplished in a tight time window.

Fundamentally, for the vast majority of companies, IT is a supporting role. It can be very strategic and provide a considerable competitive advantage, if done right, but it’s not the team that decides what the goals are.

In any data project, the most important thing you can do is identify data and bring it in, and of all the Vs in big data, variety is the one that holds the most value because that is what provides insight, Dumbill noted.

Data science is what enables us to efficiently take advantage of the fact that everything is digitizing, and to be responsive in the market.

Variety is the biggest challenge that FlockData helps customers with – aligning data from various systems, finding common links, and presenting a data science workbench for different types of analysis.

Definitely give the article a read – it’s well worth it.