Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Big Data: Analysis Paralysis

If a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, what’s the next step you’re taking to get a handle on your data? With Big Data, taking that first step will lead many of us into “analysis paralysis”.  You probably know people who love data. These are the folks who analyze it for months and develop a national data warehouse project before handing over their “perfect” analysis. By that time, the data is old and useless.
The faster way to get to your goal and to realize immediate value is to capitalize on just a piece of the pie. Take a baby step. One of the analogies we use at Cliintel is that making good use of your data is like getting oil out of the ground. When extracting oil from the ground, you don’t put a 50-mile-wide pipe into the earth. A small pipe is driven into the earth in order to verify the presence of oil. The next step is to get the oil up to the surface, and send it off to the refinery where you can turn it into a usable product. The same is true with Big Data. The key is to establish the data that’s going to be valuable (i.e. translates to sales or cost savings), and get that data refined so that it’s usable across the company – from the C-suite to the front line employees. 
Getting the data monetized is the goal. Moving beyond analysis paralysis is about choosing one or two pieces of information that has the ability to grow revenues or save costs. The investment you make in extracting the right data pays for itself. It then turns into dollars saved or revenue earned that can be used to extract the next layer of data that’s critical to your next business problem. It’s a step-by-step process that can turn your organization from one that’s paralyzed by Big Data, into one that’s empowered by it.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

We Mean Business!

Big data is big business. Serious business. Cliintel takes big data very seriously when we’re working with our clients to help them break through the noise of incoherent, unusable data. But, we’ve also got a softer side. While our number one goal is to make our customer’s day-to-day business operations a little more seamless, we also like to connect with the very people who are trying to make sense out of their data. We just spent a day filming a new series of videos that will appear on our website, YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter. If you’ve ever embarked on a video project, you know there is a lot of pre-planning that needs to take place. But, nothing is more important than the moment of truth . . . that is, when the director says “quiet on the set” and the spotlight is on you.
Well, the spotlight was on me and our CTO, Paul Ousterhout. If you don’t know us, you might see our images on the website and classify us as the “typical C-Suite”. Guys with ties. The sort of people who eat, breathe and sleep big data. The latter is certainly true, but we were able to take the serious side of big data and have a little fun with it by sharing stories about how we’ve helped companies get a handle on their data so they can make informed decisions that truly impact the bottom line. And, we can get a little animated. Jokes were flying. And, maybe a swear word was thrown out here and there. But, all in all, the production process was fast and fun. The kind of results you get when you’re just telling it like it is. And that’s what we do best. We help you look at your big data in ways that allow you to improve operations, reduce waste, and impact the bottom line. Stay tuned for our new video series and let us know what you think. Big data is big business. And Cliintel is the trusted expert that helps you see through the clutter. 

Richard M. Batenburg Jr. CEO, Cliintel

Friday, February 1, 2013

TM Forum Recap:Big Data

Big data was the buzz at Management World Americas’ TM Forum last month in Orlando. Lauri Smith of Comcast presented a case study on how they’ve been successful at using big data to provide relevant, real-time information to their technical operations team members. I presented alongside her, showing the value of using the data that already exists within an infrastructure to make smarter decisions about day-to-day operations, and how this can save a company millions of dollars.
The gist of the whole talk was about using data as “carrots” and not “sticks”. In other words, when employees use data to make intelligent decisions about what to do next, or how to make improvements in the way customers are served, or how to gain more market share by being in the right place at the right time – that’s motivating. On the other hand, when companies use data more as a weapon to find errors that lead to finger-pointing, it’s not helping the company grow or use the data in a powerful manner.
Big data can enable better decision making from the top down . . . and the bottom up. By aligning strategy, operations, and tactics, each entity within the organization is moving in the same direction, thereby enabling systematic transformation to take place.
When you provide widespread access to the data you already capture every day, and translate it into business intelligence that leads to the right actions to actually grow your company, well, that’s powerful.