Big data has been among the most widely discussed and adopted technologies in corporate computing for several years now, with a greater volume and diversity of organizations embracing modern intelligence solutions. Reporting analytics is often the primary target of these types of initiatives given many companies' needs to have a tool in place that will at once streamline record-keeping procedures and improve the accuracy of various information governance protocols.
Experts are beginning to argue that failure to embrace big data and analytics will represent a significant competitive disadvantage before long, as the smartest decision-makers who get timely insights that guide their leadership will inherently be the strongest performers in a given industry. As such, businesses that have not yet started to craft a reporting analytics or other big data strategy ought to consider doing so soon to remain relevant and competitive in the modern era.
Deloitte Analytics senior advisor and Babson College professor Thomas Davenport recently wrote a blog post for The Wall Street Journal in which he likened big data and analytics to kale, affirming that these tools are not a passing fad but rather a necessary staple in any corporate IT diet. However, he did state that simply deploying an analytics solution without the right strategy and metrics behind it will not necessarily help to sate the average company appetite.
Rather, the plans must be carefully structured, perfectly aligned with objectives and guided by experts who have been around the block a few times. According to Davenport, kale and analytics both have "nutritional value," and the worth of each have been proven significant in many situations, but some experts and analysts have put forth negative reviews regarding the use of big data for certain processes.
In his eyes, the next step needs to be more targeted and specific guidance to ensure each business leader understands how best to use analytics, rather than broad statements regarding whether or not the solutions are worth the investment.
As Davenport alluded, the value that comes with analytics investments will be highly dependent upon the strategies and plans in place to govern metrics and performance over time. To ensure that the firm receives the highest possible returns on investment throughout the life cycle of their chosen tools, leaders will want to work closely with their software vendors to align practices, objectives and metrics into one centralized policy.