The Case for Big Data Analytics and Recommendations for Big Data Capture

Big Data Analytics and Some Recomendations for Big Data CaptureA recent “Bain Brief” from the global consulting firm Bain & Company asks the question of 2014: Is building an advanced analytics capability really worth the investment? According to the authors, Travis Pearson and Rasmus Wegener, data to answer that question has been scarce until now. But in their study for an answer they put the question to rest. “Early adopters of Big Data analytics have gained a significant lead over the rest of the corporate world. Examining more than 400 large companies, we found that those with the most advanced analytics capabilities are outperforming competitors by wide margins.

  • Twice as likely to be in the top quartile of financial performance within their industries
  • Five times as likely to make decisions much faster than market peers
  • Three times as likely to execute decisions as intended
  • Twice as likely to use data very frequently when making decisions

The report emphasizes the ways companies can get into the “big data game”.

  1. The Data Itself: Large quantities of information in a format allowing for easy access and analysis. Most large companies already have this—in fact, they generally have more than they can use.
  2. Advanced Analytical Tools, such as Hadoop and NoSQL. Both proprietary and open-source tools and platforms are widely available these days— all you need are people capable of putting them to work.
  3. Expertise. Advanced analytics requires staff with state-of-the-art skills in everything from data science to worldwide privacy laws, along with an understanding of the business and the relevant sources of value.

For those firms who feel like they may already be too late to the big data party, the authors provide a ray of hop in conclusion, “A good first step is to benchmark your industry and determine your company’s current position in Big Data analytics and capabilities, compared with that of your chief rivals. This exercise will help you determine the investment necessary to improve your relative position. If you are significantly behind the competition, you will have the kind of burning platform that is often required to create and sustain change. You can then begin experimenting, testing hypotheses to learn where and how advanced analytics is most likely to help your business. This type of review will help you determine your Big Data ambition, embed a culture of analytics and decide where Big Data’s organizational home should be.”

A link to the Bain Insights Blog post on the report can be found here and a link to the full .PDF report can be found here.

Doug Atkinson