Big data was one of the most talked about things in technology several years ago, and it elicited a lot of interest and curiosity among the information technology specialists. It was viewed as one of the biggest and best things to ever happen to the tech world. However, things are taking a different turn: from simply attaching a premium to big data—which involves finding, capturing, and storing it—to how value can be unlocked from every piece of data that can be found.
The proper application of data can have a great impact on businesses, as it can give them a competitive edge in the target market, enable them to serve customers better, and make predictions on the businesses’ future in order to take necessary steps in good time in order to avert problems. All these things are only possible with the right skills or expertise, which a firm may have internally, or which may be hired. For example, top-notch big data engineers, like Active Wizards Agency, can help make the most of big data.
New things learned
Those in the tech world have learned a lot in the recent past regarding big data. One good example is integrating data with a new generation of analytical tools, and thus ushering in a completely new era of Business Intelligence. This enables not only the sampling of data in a sector or an activity, but it also gives the capability to capture data and understand it in its entirety, for example in a retail chain or any other setting. While realizing the value of data used to be a futuristic concept, we are now in the era of exploring these possibilities.
The important thing now
Having gotten over the excitement and false feeling of achievement for being able to capture and manage massive volumes of data, the current elephant in the room is to identify the information that is of true value from the humongous data volumes. Additionally, it is equally crucial to present the identified valuable data using techniques or methods that the various data users in the organization can practically use to optimize their output.
Data presentation in an organization
Due to the high need to present valuable data to the right persons in the organization and in the right format, there was a need to have someone oversee this, so the position of Chief Data Office (CDO) came into being. Most of the organization data is presented in three different ways, which are differentiated by how the information is to be applied, and the extent to which the information needs to be processed. The extent of processing information rather than presenting it in raw form depends on how much time each of the users has to analyze the data. The presentation methods are:
Reporting – Reported data is presented at the implementation level (rank-and-file) of the organization, and is intended to enhance operating efficiency. It answers: How am I performing? How do I improve customer service, sales, etc? Due to its purpose, it is inclusive, tries to identify the best way of doing things, and distributes them across the organization.
Dashboarding – Dashboards are of two types:
- Type 1- For capturing, in various aspects, the efficiency of the operations of the company. This dashboard is normally advanced or very sophisticated and considers several factors.
- Type 2- Quite simple dashboard compared to type 1, and is meant for the senior executives. Its simplicity is due to high pre-digestion of data. Its design is informed by the limited time that C-level members have to go through them. Also, these dashboards are exclusive, meaning they only look at exceptions or outliers that could greatly impact the organization.
Visualization – This is meant for the company’s information analysts and involves making discoveries. It involves looking at data using different approaches and tools to have a better grasp of the market, competition, customers, and so on.
The daunting task of determining the particular data to be presented and to whom and in what format is the work of the CDO, and it is a critical task in this era of Business Intelligence. For the CDO to surmount the challenges of picking the right data, the tools to be used, and so on, data auditing is necessary. This involves identifying how the various persons in the organization use data availed to them. The outcome of a good data audit is a data stakeholder’s map, which indicates where an entity has various types of data, and decision needs, to be followed by mapping the various kinds of decisions each of the data users needs to make each day. From that point, the CDO aligns the various users’ needs with the company data assets, and avails them in the way they are of utmost value.
It is no longer useful or of any value for organizations to gather data and present it haphazardly to various users. The shift has happened from talking about big data, to understanding who needs what data and in what format to present it.