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5 Things You Need to Do to Make a Big Data Initiative Successful

Is your goal becoming a “data-driven company”? Are you sure what successful data-driven companies do that sets them apart from those that fail to establish successful big data initiatives? Data isn’t so much about technology and taking the right steps: it is largely about establishing a culture within the company that values data and utilizes it effectively top to bottom. Here are five ways to foster a successful data-driven culture in your organization.

1. More Types of Data are Better Than More Data

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Layer data from across the organization. Varied data from numerous sources produces better insight than lots of data from a limited number of sources.

Good data-driven decisions don’t come from simply a large pool of data, they are born out of highly varied data that, when properly layered and analyzed, presents a complete, thorough, deep view of the situation. This allows for the best data decision-making possible. It takes a smart plan for data integration that includes data from a variety of sources, including the finance department, surveys, points of sale, and many other areas of the business. When you think “big data” think “lots of different kinds of data” not just “lots of data”. Petabytes of data can fail to yield good results for basing decisions on if it doesn’t include varied data from across the organization.

2. Everyone in the Organization Needs Access to At Least Some of the Data

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Once you have a robust set of data, it will be useful to everyone in the organization.

Out of concern for data security (which is a real concern, with real legal and compliance implications), many companies restrict data access from all but the IT department and upper management. However, every department (and every worker within those departments) has needs and potential uses for a high-quality pool of data. Are the sales and marketing departments getting access to data they need to boost brand exposure and revenue? Does finance have access to data that can be used to better plan budgets and predict year-end sales?

3. Data Doesn’t Necessarily Have to Be Centralized

Along the same train of thought, the most successful data-driven companies don’t just pool data centrally and put it under the sole preview of IT. Data is housed and accessible on computers and devices throughout the organization. Of course, all the data is collected centrally for analytical purposes, but it isn’t so centralized that it can’t be used across the company for predictive analysis, decision making, planning, budgeting, etc.

4. Deriving Insight from the Data Trumps What Technology is Used

Should your company take on Hadoop or build a NoSQL database? There are tons of ways to analyze data, but the focus of a truly data-driven company is put on the insight the company can glean from the data, and the technology is really just a tool. One of the reasons many companies fail to see success from their data initiatives is because all of the focus is on the golly-gee-wow technology and they forget that data is useless unless it produces valuable insights.

5. Data Empowers All Levels of Employees

Another reason why some companies fail with data initiatives is because the data is only used to pass information up the chain of command, to top decision makers. Sometimes, this merely means producing a few reports each month, delivering the reports to the executive suites and forgetting about the data until next month. Successful companies pass the data up, and down, and across the organization where it can provide useful insights and value.

Is your corporate culture thinking about data the right way to assure success? No matter what industry you are in, Syncsort has a variety of big data integration tools to get your big data initiatives underway smoothly, easily, and affordably.

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