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Friend or Foe: A Tale of Big Data and Data Integration (Part 1 of 2)

On recent posts, I’ve talked about the importance of leveraging Big Data to remain competitive. Last month, the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI), released a comprehensive survey with interesting statistics that provide a whole new sense of urgency to the issue of Big Data.

Big Data can certainly be your friend. For companies that are prepared to embrace it, McKinsey predicts enormous opportunities to drive innovation, improve productivity, enhance customer satisfaction, and increase profit margins. MGI estimated the value of Big Data across sectors; some of their stats are fascinating:

  • $300 billion value per year for US Healthcare industry
  • $200 billion value per year for Europe public administration sector
  • $100 billion revenue for service providers and $700 billion value for end users in the global personal location data sector
  • 60% Increase in net margin possible for US retailers
  • 50% reduction in product development and assembly costs for the manufacturing sector

However, Big Data can also turn into a big problem. According to McKinsey “In a big data world, a competitor that fails to sufficiently develop its [Big Data] capabilities will be left behind”. This is especially true for organizations that are not prepared to embrace Big Data nor have a sound strategy to leverage it.

The message from MGI is clear “all companies need to take Big Data seriously.” As a first step, organizations need to look at their existing data strategies:

  • Are these data strategies helping you achieve the objectives of the business?
  • Can your environment economically scale to support the requirements of Big Data?
  • Can your infrastructure transform decision making by quickly adapting to new demands for information?

You might be surprised to learn that more often than not, the answer to all these questions is “no.” The fact is many organizations don’t realize they have data problems. They have grown accustomed to living with them and accept them as the status quo. TDWI’s recent Checklist Report, authored by renowned BI expert Claudia Imhoff, can help you diagnose some of these problems and identify solutions to reduce TCO and prepare your environment for future growth.

For my next post, I will share some of the findings of a recent survey about Data Integration tools and their job in “helping?” you achieve the objectives of the business. These findings also get a whole new meaning in light of the MGI report.

In the meantime, you can find the executive summary of the MGI report here, and while you read it, you may want to ask yourself, Is Big Data your friend or foe?

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