What to Get for A Person Who Calculates Everything
Talking with colleagues and friends in business lately, I’ve taken a new tack. After all, it’s the season that celebrates gifts - large and small. After greetings, I’m asking, “What’s on your list this year?” I get all sorts of answers - from the sublime (typically, peace) to the ridiculous (mostly, political) – but it’s the answers of a friend – call him Jerry for convenience, that I thought I’d share today.
As Nate Silver points out often—and humorously—in his book The Signal and the Noise, the world is full of noisy data. Inside the untapped potential of Big Data and Business Intelligence is the signal. When the power of data is fully harnessed, it enables executives to transform productivity and act with certainty. My predictions for 2016 are about the trends that move businesses through the noise to truly leverage information as a strategic asset.
Like many things, there’s a “bandwagon” element to trends in Big Data and BI. By that, I mean interest seems to snowball around a particular topic or topics. And pretty soon that’s what everyone pays attention to.
Right now, the hot topic in Big Data is the variety of data sources that can be put to analytical use. And in BI, it’s data visualization tools. What you don’t hear a lot about is how to find the right, most relevant data sources out of all that are available, so your analytics tools having something useful to work with.
“The only thing better than certain insight is certain insight you don’t have to work hard to find.”
Our view of any business situation is enhanced when every relevant insight is available for consideration. In the early days of search, our queries determined precisely what we found. We were limited by the data that was indexed and the terms we searched.
The short answer: “To get them out of their hair.” But seriously…
At Attivio, we work with decision-makers at various companies who own and administer the BI infrastructure. We call them “BI tech owners.” A BI tech owner’s team governs data and delivers it to business users for analysis.
BI tech owners are not in an enviable position at the moment. The proliferation of self-service analytical tools for Big Data and BI have generated orders of magnitude increases in requests for data. And those requests all come with an ASAP attached.
The single, most-important determinant of the lifetime value of a modern, enterprise-wide application is its dexterity in adding or changing the data sources that drive the application. ‘Rock stars’ deliver solutions that provide value and benefits for years, adapting to new or evolving data sources quickly and easily. And, now, there’s no excuse for not being a ‘rock star’.