What if you took a Small Bite out of Big Data?

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Big Data

According to Wikipedia: “Big Data is an all-encompassing term for any collection of data sets so large and complex that it becomes difficult to process them using traditional data processing applications. The challenges include analysis, curation, search, sharing, storage, transfer, visualization and privacy violations.” They go on to say: “the world’s technological per-capita capacity to store information has roughly doubled every 40 months since the 1980’s, as of 2014, every day 2.3 zettabytes (2.3 x 10[23]) if data were created.”

Now, to be fair, a lot of this Big Data are analytics produced by machines about their performance so that organizations know what’s working and what isn’t and have a better way to predict when those machines will either fail or will need to be cycled in for maintenance. According to a survey conducted by GE and Accenture: Across the industries surveyed, 80 to 90 percent of companies indicated that Big Data analytics is either the top priority for the company or in the top three”.


However, Big Data doesn’t just incorporate data that is generated by machines; it can be all encompassing to include business and financial data as well. So, let’s take one aspect of an organization’s business that is impacted by growing amounts of information, content and data and that is the Sales and Marketing departments. Sales people are inundated with ever-growing amounts of information that is thrown at them about their products, prospects, industry, competition, marketing collateral, etc. According to multiple research reports, the average employee spends over 8 hours per week searching for information that is stored somewhere within their own organization! That is the loss of one day per week; per employee of productivity that they could be doing that would produce greater results. One of the main reasons why employees waste so much time is that information is often scattered throughout the organization with 5 being the average number of servers organizations have. Also, information is often segregated by department making it difficult to access.


So, part of the “Big Data” problem is that organizations need to recognize they not only need to know what’s working and what isn’t with regards to their machinery, but they also need to know what’s working and what isn’t with regards to their overall business strategy. For example, a lot of sales and marketing collateral is created without a way to analyze whether that collateral is effective or not. Organizations need to create a way in which that information can be fed back to the people who created it, so they can either fix or replace it. Surveys show that as much as 75% of the content that marketing creates for sales is either unused or is rewritten by the sales people. This has a big impact on the return on investment around that collateral, as well as the loss of productivity of the sales people rewriting it and continuity of brand and message around that collateral.


Organizations can address this by, first, creating a logically structured, single-source repository where everything that had to do with your sales and marketing department could be stored. Second, the repository would need to have a rating system so that users could rate the content, information and collateral they were provided as to its quality and value. Third, it would need to be able to capture and provide analytical information around access, usage and ratings, so management could identify what was working and what wasn’t. The whole idea of capturing “Big Data” is to understand and predict future events and to know what is working and what isn’t, so people can take steps to correct what isn’t working and capitalize on what is working.


Let’s face it, the era of Big Data is upon us and those that do nothing to address it will be left behind, but those that do, even if they take smaller bites, will find themselves ahead of the pack. At least that’s the way I see it, what say you?

About the author:

Chuck Carey is an accomplished sales, marketing and business executive with more than 40 years of experience in the information technology industry. Chuck’s vast knowledge of the problems facing all types of organizations around identifying and capturing corporate knowledge makes him ideally suited to work with and consult in that area. If you would like to see if Chuck can help you and your organization please contact him through this website.

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