Small Steps to Big Data
“You don’t need to make enormous up-front investments in IT to use big data”, say the gurus Andrew McAfee and Erik Brynjolfsson, in their Harvard Business Review article “Big Data Management Revolution”. Right – the management revolution.
Several key messages here: 1) Big Data is not (just) about technology, but about the management revolution.
Their call for action is very simple 5 by 5 by 5 forula: Identify five business opportunities based on big data, each of which could be prototyped within five weeks by a team of no more than five people.
Now, that is neither pure technology, nor pure management (until “big data possibilities” gets ingrained in the mindset like the CRM revolution in the late 80s / early 90s).
Here is one example from the article that will open up the minds to the Big Data Possibilities, Opportunities and Threats: “Alex “Sandy” Pentland and his group at the MIT Media Lab used location data from mobile phones to infer how many people were in Macy’s parking lots on Black Friday—the start of the Christmas shopping season in the United States. This made it possible to estimate the retailer’s sales on that critical day even before Macy’s itself had recorded those sales.”
And for the ones thinking of the right career paths for the transforming world, here is a goldmine of wisdom: “As the big data movement advances, the role of domain experts will shift. They’ll be valued not for their HiPPO-style answers but because they know what questions to ask. Pablo Picasso might have been thinking of domain experts when he said, “Computers are useless. They can only give you answers.”
Do not miss reading this article in its totality at the HBR site
Leave a Comment so far
Leave a comment