Big Data has become an overloaded term that gets applied to everything that has anything to do with data, big or small, fast or slow, similar or varied. Like the crescendo of a classical music piece, Big Data hype has been getting louder and building up to…hmmm…that’s the question exactly: what comes next? Is it about the customer? The product? The market? Saving the world?
Resetting the Big Data conversation
In the end, I agree with Randy Bowden, who puts it very succinctly with:
Big data helps organizations understand and better optimize their business processes. It is used in customer relationship management, store location, pricing, risk analysis, advertising, product research, network optimization, fraud prevention, and pharmaceutical research, to name a few.
Bowden nails it. It’s about knowing and optimizing process. He goes on to say:
A company can optimize their stock due to weather forecasts and social media data. They use data to understand the behaviors of their customers and learn what their preferences are. The healthcare industry, in particular, has been significantly impacted by big data. The study of disease patterns in the field of epidemiology and the decoding of DNA sequences in the field of genetics would be impossible without data.
The takeaway is that Big Data means something a little different in each market, based on each market’s need for better processes. Any cynicism about Big Data being hype likely comes from over-broad and feel-good statements that lack detail. If there is a streamlined way to explain Big Data, it is that it helps organizations better understand and better optimize their business processes. It isn’t necessarily something completely brand new. It is a powerful way to make everything we’ve ever wanted to do, and some things we didn’t even realize we could do, much better and more efficient.
Big Data success is process-based
So for those who don’t realize that process remains at the base of all we do, here’s your notification. It may look, feel and smell more like flexible, fast moving data management, but there needs to be something that allows it all to hang together. There needs to be something measurable. There needs to be something that is intelligent, agile and…yup, process-based.
Mark my words, if we press “reset” on the Big Data conversation, the rebooted version will look a lot like process.
If you’re interested in hearing how the Big Data conversation is being reset, come to Interop in Las Vegas for the Big Data Workshop on March 31st. I’ll be there with great partners that include the CTO of Siemens Healthcare, the Chief Data Scientist for TIBCO, and the VP of Marketing for Alpine Data Labs.