You think big data is big today? Just wait until next year…or the year after that…or the year after that. It is growing exponentially. Whatever seems big now will likely seem relatively small just a short time from now. My inner analytics geek is thrilled when several times per week I see an article or have a discussion that calls my attention to yet another company or industry with yet another source of data growing explosively. It is just amazing how quickly these sources of data are growing. With that comes an explosion of analytic potential as well.
Over the past year, I have seen a very positive and encouraging shift in my discussions with organizations about the analytic talent that they employ. More and more discussions are about how to best structure an analytics organization as many companies have now found themselves with enough analytic professionals to make it necessary to figure out how to make the most of them. The speed of the shift from “should we hire anyone?” to “how do I organize all these people?” has surprised me.
Throughout my career, one of the primary ways to classify a company has been its industry. Knowing a company’s industry gave you a solid start on understanding the company. From an analytics perspective, you could make highly accurate assumptions about what data an organization would have, what problems it was trying to solve, and what types of analytic processes would be beneficial for the organization’s business.
It is challenging to make big data simple to access and easy to analyze. While there are many reasons for this, the one I want to focus on here is that handling big data, given how big data projects are usually implemented today, requires users to learn new tools and technologies. This makes adoption a difficult and lengthy journey.
In the past few months, in addition to my usual travel around the United States, I have had the pleasure of visiting both Europe and Asia to meet with customers and discuss analytics and big data. It was very interesting to me how similar the conversations were regardless of where I was in the world.