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The Business User: A Perfect Ally to Tame Big Data

Thanks to a recent post by my colleague Steven Totman, some of you may already know that I had the chance to participate on a panel about “The Breakpoints of Big Data” at the FIMA conference in London. One thing that really caught my attention during the entire conference was the number of attendees from the business side of the house. I think this represents further evidence that the information technology landscape continues to change dramatically. More than ever, the business stakeholders are willing to get their hands dirty to learn, participate and immerse themselves in the world of data management and information technology.

Some IT organizations may feel threatened by this trend and may choose to ignore it or minimize it. However, many others are already embracing it with significant benefits to the business. Ultimately, true collaboration between business users and IT empowers companies to make sense of ‘Big Data.’ I believe this holds true for most aspects of IT, especially those that are more strategic like analytics, business intelligence and, of course, data integration.

By enabling greater levels of collaboration between business users and IT, organizations can make a great leap forward and unleash the opportunities of ‘Big Data’ by:

  • Bringing together the right set of skills to understand the data and focus on the right areas
  • Accelerating development cycles, providing the business with the agility it needs to capitalize on opportunities faster than the competition
  • Understanding the business impact of diverse data services to prioritize resources and work towards a common goal
  • Generating more knowledgeable and satisfied business users, resulting in greater ROI and user adoption

That said, there is no perfect world. The new dynamics will require proper tools that allow and facilitate greater levels of collaboration, self-service, and reusability. That is why these concepts are core to Syncsort’s ETL 2.0 approach. Even then, there will always be sources of friction and areas of inefficiency. In this regard, it is really not any different than a couple that has been married for a long time.

The business user has arrived and there is no turning back. The good news for IT is that they just might have found the perfect ally for taming ‘Big Data’ and capitalizing on the opportunities it presents to organizations of all sizes.

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