Big data as a business topic shows no signs of cooling off. And many of its proponents welcome what they consider to be long overdue attention to the idea of running your business on evidence. And the message is not one for IT but for all managers. Philip Kotler has said that marketing “is becoming a battle based more on information than on sales power.” But.. hype brings with it a threat of desensitisation. Does data really matter to little old us? In short, yes. The message we’ve been hearing is that analytics is as much about small data – the untapped data flying around in your own business right now – as it is about big data. More importantly, the challenge is not the technology (according to the analysts it’s been lying in wait for a while) – it is in learning how to ask the right questions of your data, and reacting accordingly to the answers you receive.
But where to start? Enter the “Data Doc”, Dr. Thomas C. Redman, bestselling Harvard Business Review author, President of Navesink consulting and all-round data evangelist. He was at IMI’s National Management Conference earlier this month (see our twitter feed for the live stream) and we have seized the opportunity to have him prescribe us our data medicine.
So, in summary, you should believe the big data hype – but don’t feel it’s relevant only to others. You need to make it part of your competitive strategy now. Our advice? Before you even ask about the technology, spend some time considering: what is the question that you want to ask the data? And are you ready to react when you get it?
In conversation with Eva Maguire, IMI
If you’re interested in learning about how to compete on big data and data analytics see the UCC/IMI Diploma in Data Business and Diploma in Cloud Strategy (which starts on 20th November). If your focus is on marketing the Diploma in Marketing Strategy with Digital Marketing focusses on how analytics and digital strategies can transform your approach.