Short Biography of Torrance Mayberry

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Big Data – Born Digitals already benefit from it

IDC Asia/Pacific (Excluding Japan) Business Analytics Top 10 Predictions suggest the need for organisational change is fast approaching. Decision makers in Asia/Pacific (APEJ) are taking up the journey of transforming their data poor organisations of the past to ones that are strategic at harnessing data centric capability in this new data rich era. As data volumes have grown and the complexity of data that is collected and analysed is increasing, Business Analytics is entering a new phase.

The significance of Business Analytics (BA) was revealed as becoming the number one priority for organisations in the region. Ten factors outlined in the IDC survey can help sustain an organisation’s competitive advantage beyond 2012 when the aspiration to place Business Analytics at the centre of delivering tangible business value is a strategic intent.

The survey purports over 65% of decision makers in APEJ have a greater awareness that organisations are now living in and competing in a new data-rich society. This new reality is fast creating unprecedented challenges and opportunities within their organisations to spur productivity, growth and revenue. A recent Forbes article (Beware The Big Data Hype) outlines another critical factor on the backdrop of a global survey by The Corporate Executive Board (CEB) of Chief Marketing Officers (CMO). The CEB research suggests more than 60% of knowledge workers at large enterprises say their organisations lack the processes and “big data” techniques to use information effectively for decision making. It goes on to suggest if organisations don’t figure this out, Big Data could go the way of CRM back in the 90s – much promised but results a long-time coming. This too is a significant factor influencing how APEJ organisations are able to achieve on their strategic intent.

A lack of focus on processes, “big data” techniques and business alignment will undoubtedly stifle the achievement of outcomes outlined in the IDC survey. What to do? An outside-in view of other forward thinking organisations that have already taken the journey in this data rich era can provide them with a greater awareness of outcomes they can also aspire to achieve. Most of the organisations described as ‘born digital’ have been influencing disruptive change through harnessing their data centric capability for competitive advantage. An aspect of its culture is its capability for unique differentiation and its ability to continuously strive to embed ubiquitous measurement into the rhythm of its business ecosystem.

For instance, the link below to the “Anatomy of Facebook” (from the Facebook Data Team ) provides a nice vantage point of the business outcomes such a culture can deliver when the right climate, data centric capability and processes are established to compete in this new era.

The thinking that underpins a ‘born digital’ culture is best characterised in their focus on the generation and sharing of insights. In addition, an entrepreneur, laboratory approach to development has ensured the generation of new knowledge can expand through new channels across the social web. Their data centric capability draws on the strengths of digitisation to speed innovation creating value for the social consumer. There are many other players such as Linkedin, Amazon, Google, Foursquare, Cloudera and a whole host of others that have made the transformation to compete in this new data rich era.

Organisations in APEJ that aspire to transform, need to ensure their strategic intent is underpinned by data centric capability that fosters a climate in which strategic data use is a core competency of everyone. Their ability to apply similar working practices and process as the ‘born digital’ organisations will ensure they are better positioned to maximise business value in 2012 and beyond.

A cornerstone of a successful change journey outlined by over 65% of the decision makers is the emerging significance of the Chief Data Scientist (described as a critical role to ensure organisations define their “Big Data” strategies and make it relevant to the business). This number one factor identified by the APEJ decision makers is something they have in common with the ‘born digital’ organisations. The role brings a vision and intense curiosity to understand what's behind the data to turn it into useful products and services.

In conclusion, forward thinking organisations in APEJ recognise the world has moved from a data poor era to a new data rich era. This new reality requires creative thinking to ensure these organisations are better positioned to stay on trend, move up the analytics value chain and embed ubiquitous measurement. Although it is still early days in the region, like any change journey the winners in 2012 and beyond will be those organisations that act and execute based on the greater awareness outlined in the survey. The ability to attain the desired outcomes that underpin strategic intent can be improved by taking on board common threads from ‘born digital’ organisations. This, combined with factors identified in the survey results, will ensure organisations in the region create the right climate and data centric capability with processes and skills to harness valuable insights in this new data rich era.

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