Achieving data analytics success requires attitude change

Organizations have always had to manage massive amounts of information, but the rise of technological innovations has made that task significantly more challenging. 

"Enterprises are having to deal with a huge volume of data, much higher velocity and increasing complexity," Richard Gordon, managing vice president of the analyst company told Information Age.

As a result, many decision-makers have opted to invest heavily in big data analytics, as these tools will not only provide enhanced organization of information, but they could potentially lead to analytics as well. In the latter's case, however, many business leaders have been less than satisfied. 

In some instances, the problem has to do with the technology. For instance, IT departments are trying to use traditional business intelligence software to accomplish tasks it simply isn't capable of, or the company has adopted technology that is too complicated for the average employee to use. 

In other cases, however, the fault is with the organization's hierarchy.

"I think there's a magic bullet thesis, that somehow we can fire some technology or other at the problem and it will go away," Joe Peppard, professor of information systems at Cranfield University's School of Management, recently told Information Age. 

Traditional BI tools have always been, and continue to be, extremely useful. That won't change going forward.

For companies to take advantage of the heralded capabilities of big data – the predictive analytics, the fraud prevention, data visualization and so on – decision-makers need to view the matter in an entirely new light.

The old-school mentality of designing IT projects, according to Peppard, is a "design to build" paradigm. To achieve success with big data analytics, he proposed companies adopt a "design for use" mentality instead. This requires first outlining what the technology is supposed to accomplish, and then designing the system in a way that will enable the organization to achieve those goals. 

"The idea is that these tools give you the option, not the obligation, to do something, like discover new knowledge, so you can work out a value for those options," Peppard told the news source.

But there is another essential component to big data success: the technology itself. In a recent blog post for CRM Buyer, Dennis Pombriant, managing principal of the Beagle Research Group, stressed that not every software company has developed its tools with the end-user experience in mind.

Fortunately, some vendors, such as Panorama, have emphasized ease-of-use when designing data analytics programs. It will be important for IT professionals to seek out the right tools to help them meet their big data-related goals.

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