BIG DATA BIG DEAL? ….. Yes, a very big deal. Your products or services are no longer the be-all and end-all of your company’s identity. You also have lots of raw information that is flowing into your organisation every day, data. Perhaps you analyse a small amount of it? But maybe you could be making much better use of all of it. It’s your Big Data after all. So what do our speakers say about it?
Big Data Blind Spots
The amount of data produced is huge but there are “blind spots” as WIRED’s Executive Editor, Jeremy White, points out. The biggest is that once people have access to big data, they don’t necessarily know what to do with it. You have to be able to interpret the data and implement the insights into your business model.
Your Company is a Data Company
As Mark van Rijmenam, founder of Datafloq, puts it, “any company, regardless of the industry, should see itself as a data company”. Datafloq connects companies with big data providers, as well as offering insights and training on emerging technology. Having more data means being able to improve your business strategy and chose the most efficient way to deliver to consumers.
Design your Company like Software
Futurist Mike Walsh agrees with this position, clarifying what it means to see yourself primarily as a data company. According to Walsh, the “most valuable thing we can create, protect, and leverage is data.” Designing your company like software means it will be data-driven, innovative and efficient – all things that ultimately benefit customers.
Data is a tool, use it
Economist and Professor of Finance Dr. Constantin Gurdgiev thinks that having more data is actually leading us to realise the limits of our data analytics capabilities. Increases in the amount of data and its accessibility can be an advantage, but we should be wary of an “overconfidence bias”. While the data can give us a clearer picture of where we are, it cannot give us an idea of where we’re going. Gurdgiev warns against an over reliance on big data, saying that “Data is not the end of it all. Data is just one of the tools.”
Use Disruption as Fuel
The data also needs to be contextualised, so having a lot of data about search trends doesn’t tell you why people are currently searching for those things. Jonathan MacDonald, digital strategist and thought leader who founded Thought Expansion Network and Balance Ventures, asks whether the way we look at data is more important than the data itself.
Back in the nineties, MacDonald was part of a music industry group attempting to sue the internet for sharing music files as it was copyright infringement. They sent a 160 page fax to someone they thought was the executive of the internet. Putting aside how strange this sounds today, there’s another reason he now acknowledges it was not the right move at the time. Instead of suing the disruptor, they should have innovated faster and better to compete with them. Data is a powerful tool which works best when the organisation uses disruption and “perpetual change as fuel”.
The Powerful Players will be creating Markets
Viktor Mayer-Schönberger, Professor at the Oxford University Internet Institute, says when data drives markets, rather than relying primarily on price, financial institutions and traditional companies have less impact. Companies that encourage internal competition to drive innovation are likely to thrive. Instead of just creating products, the powerful players will be creating markets. This is the focus on his new book ‘Reinventing Capitalism in the Age of Big Data’ co-authored with Thomas Ramge, writer for The Economist.
Putting Big Data at the Centre of your Business Model
Last but not least someone who truly understands what it means to put big data at the centre of his business model is Mark Little, founder of the world’s first social news agency Storyful which pioneered new models of verification and collaboration. Storyful mines the social web, taking user-generated content and shaping it into journalism. As digital journalism rebuilds trust, the transparency from Big Data is crucial.
So if you need a Big Data expert’s insights, simply contact us today to discuss your audience, budget, and goals.
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