Lured by the promise of big data benefits, many organizations are leveraging cheap storage to hoard vast amounts of structured and unstructured data. Without a clear framework for big data governance and use, businesses run the risk of becoming paralyzed under an unorganized jumble of data, much of which has become stale and past its expiration date. Stale data is toxic to your business – it could lead you into taking the wrong action based on data that is no longer relevant.
You know there’s valuable stuff in there, but the thought of wading through all THAT to find it stops you dead in your tracks. There goes your goal of business process improvement, which according to a recent Informatica survey, most businesses cite as their number one Big Data Initiative goal.
Just as the individual hoarder often requires a professional organizer to help them pare the hoard and institute acquisition and retention rules for preventing hoard-induced paralysis in the future, organizations should seek outside help when they find themselves unable to turn their data hoard into actionable information.
An effective big data strategy needs to include the following components:
- An appropriate toolset for analyzing big data and making it actionable by the right people. Avoid building an ivory tower big data bureaucracy, and remember, insight has to turn into action.
- A clear and flexible framework, such as social master data management, for integrating big data with enterprise applications, one that can quickly leverage new sources of information about your customers and your market.
- Information lifecycle management rules and practices, so that insight and action will be taken based on relevant, as opposed to stale information.
- Consideration of how the enterprise application portfolio might need to be refined to maximize the availability and relevance of big data. In today’s world, that will involve grappling with the flow of information between cloud and internally hosted applications as well.
- Comprehensive data security framework that defines who is entitled to use the data, change the data and delete the data, as well as encryption requirements as well as any required upgrades in network security.
Get the picture? Your big data strategy isn’t just a data strategy. It has to be a comprehensive technology-process-people strategy.
All of these elements, should of course, be considered when building your big data business case, and estimating return on investment.