Use big data to transform your organization in 4 steps

With big data come big challenges and even bigger opportunities. Social data, mobile data and sensor data are just a few of the newer data sources that – when properly analyzed – can help improve your business in many ways. Yet many organizations find themselves entangled in dysfunctional legacy systems that get in the way of innovation.

It’s true that technology is the foundation for and the driver of innovation, but just like weeds can choke out new grass, outdated technology can stifle innovation. When you develop a culture that adopts newer skills and technologies, your ability to innovate increases. Then those innovations generate even more skills and technologies. The wheel keeps turning. And advancements keep happening.

So how can organizations transform for tomorrow while still focusing on success today? How can employees stop wasting time on the old legacy systems and move to current and future states without running the risk of disruptions?

In a recent issue of Intelligence Quarterly, Mikael Hagstrom - Executive Vice President EMEA and Asia Pacific at SAS - set out to answer that question. He sees changes progressing in four steps:

  1. Modernizing with analytics gives you the ability to trust the numbers and rely on a single version of the truth.
  2. Integration of analytics into business processes can help spread analytics throughout the organization. The democratization of analytics happens through data visualization and automation. For example, Taipei Medical University uses visual analytics to dig deeper into daily revenue and expense trends. Visualization is widely considered to be a top technique for gaining the most value from big data. To close the gap between analytics and business users, visualize the data.
  3. Innovation, as we discussed above, is both a product and an enabler of technology. We have seen many mature analytics implementations in the telecom industry over the last few months. Processing speeds have gone from hours to seconds, while total cost of ownership has been reduced by millions of dollars.
  4. Transformation takes place when organizations have mastered the three previous steps: modernization, integration and innovation. Businesses in this phase have reached a point where both integration and innovation occur in tandem. Two decades ago, online advertising was just an idea. Today, it is a fast-growing, rapidly developing industry thanks to the ability technology has given us to turn data into insight and new revenue streams through software as a service.

How can you modernize your organization? Consider how to leverage newer technologies like grid, high-performance analytics and Hadoop. Delve into your existing processes and see where analytics can be integrated seamlessly to increase value in your organization. Consider how you can use analytics to innovate in your industry with new products and services. Finally, use analytics to transform your company to create a new market that never existed before.