Thursday, February 19, 2015

CMOs: 3 ways to avoid big data mistakes

As a CMO, you know Big Data is increasing market share and bottom-line profitability for all types of businesses...only if you do it right. As a graduate student in the Northwestern Medill Integrated Marketing Communication program with an interest in data analytics, I have found 2 article highlighting important concepts about using Big Data successfully. 

Information week’s article Big Data Success Remains Elusive: Study reveals a cruel survey result that only 27% of the organizations described their big data projects as "successful". This survey is conducted by Capgemini Consulting involving 226 company respondents across regions and multiple industries. According to this article, big data failures are primarily the result of: 1)Inconsistency between big data analytics and business objectives. 2)Attempts to use their existing data management systems to process big data stream. 3)Scattered silos of data resulting in a lack of unified view of data. This article also suggests key success factors for big data approach, that is “a well-defined organizational structure”, “a systematic implementation plan”.
Shanker Ramamurthy, Global Managing Partner of IBM, holds a similar opinion in his article Speed To Insight: Key To Big Data Success: Big data analytics should become ubiquitous across different departments in the business organization, including HR, sales, marketing, and etc. Another important factor he put forward is “speed” from data to decision-making. The case of Wellpoint is used to illustrate the importance of speed. This health benefit company implemented a system that quickly correlates clinical research, patient data, and clinical practice guidelines to shorten the pre-approval process so nurses are given best options for each patient in a matter of seconds. By doing this, WellPoint is reducing costs improving service, as well as catering appropriate treatment for each patient.

Based on these two articles and my industry studies as a graduate student in the Northwestern Medill IMC program, here are three actions I would recommend
to companies that want to succeed in big data approach.

l     Share Big Data Organizationally: Big Data Analytics impacts across divisions and requires integration of multi-sources. So create analytics teams to gather and use data uniformly throughout your organization

l        Bring into decision-making: Don’t isolate Big Data Analytics from you business process. Make it the engine to drive your business decisions and actions

l     Accelerate the speed: Shorten the time from data to insights . Be receptive to changes as business market is becoming real-time basis. Take timely actions accordingly!

In today’s business environment, becoming Big Data-centric is a shortcut to become competitive. While, as every other front-edged technology, big-data is like a vitamin tablet that take time to digest. In current stage, business organizations are still attempting this technology while separate it from its business process. I believe real benefits will be realized when big data analytics will be into its decision-making process as well as into operation across different departments in a timely manner.

Jill is a current master student in Northwestern University, studying marketing analytics. Before that, she graduated from Tsinghua University, experienced in management consulting and strategic marketing planning. She is dedicated in delivering actionable strategies and in-depth insights through data-driven methods. Feel free to comment and repost. Jill can be connected through Twitter and Linkedin

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