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The Big Data age is dawning. Just like every major emerging opportunity that presents an unprecedented competitive advantage across sectors, we might not know the ultimate outcome with this journey at this stage. But everyone wants to know: who will race to the finish line and come out on top? Whether you're the turtle or the hare, it's important to observe and manage the signs presented to you on the road to victory. Here's a collection of differentiators that will lead to success.
Habit #1 – Lay a Solid Path
There are a number of instances where shooting from the hip is appropriate. A Big Data project is not one of them. Any company looking for a return on their Big Data investment should focus time, energy, and resources on a thoughtful plan before even considering their project. Intelligent Big Data pioneers take the time to establish a sustaining project plan that will guide the way and act as an anchor when the going gets tough. A complete, thoughtful, agile plan will lead you down a sound path to success.
Habit #2 – Understand the Role of Raw Materials on the Road
The results from analyzing large data sets can be surprising and unanticipated. Once the results are revealed from your data set, it is imperative to have a team of brilliant minds working to understand the implications of the results within the scope of the business’ plan. Look at their results like a set of points on a map with many roads around them. There are any number of routes that can be chosen to get from one point on that map to another, and they can also choose to bypass any point plotted to get where they need to be. Your analytics project will help your team plot the best path based on the results gathered from your data, a road that is consistent with your plan to succeed on the Big Data journey.
Habit #3 – Use Your Imagination
The magic of companies that obtain a solid ROI on their data involves ingenuity and a lack of fear of the unknown. Having an imaginative workforce who can look at data-based results and spin gold from them are exceptionally valuable. The winners of Big Data won’t just look at a set of results and accept them for what they are—they’ll imagine every little way that value can be derived from those results, then push to find even more ways.
Habit #4 – Be Smart With Your Money
An important habit to be mindful of when planning a Big Data project is budget-conscious choices of tools and people who will be of greatest value in your project. Plotting the smartest way to spend your money is an important step in obtaining the biggest bang for your buck on the Big Data journey. The winners of the Big Data race will spend wisely in order to collect greater return once the project comes to fruition.
Habit #5 – Cut to the Chase
One of the best incentives for innovative thought is something very simple: a deadline. When approaching a Big Data project, the manager should be ready to set hard and soft deadlines, be ready to adjust the calendar when appropriate, but ultimately lead their team to timely decisions based on their results. Timely is, of course, relative to the scale and depth of your project. The key is to remain on track.
Habit #6 – Jump Over Hurdles
Just as with any other project, Big Data missions will inevitably face bumps in the road. If you’re looking to approach a project of any size, prepare your team to be as agile and ready to overcome unforeseen obstacles as possible. These hurdles could range from architectural glitches to budget limitations. The key is, of course, anticipation and preparation.
Habit #7 – Finish the Race
One of the greatest challenges facing companies that approach Big Data projects is the typical length of time it takes to see the project through from beginning to end. It’s important to approach your project with the understanding that it might require a team who understands the long-race value of the work they are doing. Be ready to invest in tools that enable you and your team to finish their Big Data race and seize a handsome return for the time and money spent of their project. You might be the turtle or the hare—the important habit from that fable is that they both finished the race.