Supporting a big data initiative doesn't end with hardware and software. For a business to truly benefit from big data, leaders must change the way they think about and treat information.
How do we make sure we're getting the value out of big data computing?
Big data analysis gives the best results when all available data is on the table. Business leaders often stash data that they think is valuable -- a practice called "data hoarding." Hoarding hurts big data efforts because information that is not included weakens the results. The subsequent picture is not accurate, through no fault of the underlying compute processes.
Business leaders have closely held beliefs about what the company should do, often disregarding big data results when they produce clear guidance to the contrary. For big data computing investments to pay off, business leaders must respect their results, even when those results fly in the face of the executives' personal beliefs.
Guidance from big data has considerable value to the business and its competitors, so reports and other output from a big data initiative should be treated as valuable assets, protected and secured with the same priority as the initial raw data.
To be successful, business leaders must recognize the strategic benefits of big data, treat those efforts (and results) like a vital asset for growth and allow the insights to guide the company.
This was first published in July 2014