Big Data – Making it practical and cost effective 

Big data is emerging as a key leverage tool to transform the way companies create products and services, reach out to customers, deliver value and compete in the market.

Yet many organisations grapple with finding a predictable starting point to embark on their big data venture. This is largely due to the complexities of the sheer volume, variety and often real-time nature of big data.

Before commencing their big data journey, every organisation needs to consider factors including data management, local laws on data privacy and regulation, technology and project resources. Needless to say, achieving all of these can mean a significant economic investment even before any benefits have been gained.

So, can businesses explore cost-effective and practical routes to define and implement a big data strategy? Here are three starting steps to consider.

  1. Defining what useful big data will look like is essential. Successful big data initiatives are developed on the back of well-outlined business strategies that clearly describe the usefulness of data and how they fit the business purpose.
  2. It’s easier to start working with a small cluster or subset of data as part of a big data strategy, before expanding to working with data from broader or disparate sources. This approach can also allow you to build capability within existing teams rather than engaging big data specialists.
  3. Investing in responsive and flexible IT infrastructure will help to achieve data convergence, allowing an organisation to examine varied pools of data in one place. Cloud services can offer increased flexibility in how businesses can store and manage their data, and can be a cost-effective approach for many organisations.

Dr Vanessa Douglas-Savage

Consulting Director