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How to Get Everyone on Board with Your Big Data Initiatives
You’ve read the blogs and seen the news: big data is here and you’re convinced it’s an excellent solution for your organization. But not everyone agrees. Some believe big data is just a passing trend; others are convinced it doesn’t offer potential for your organization, and some think it’s too large, complicated, and expensive to undertake. How can you convince your organization that big data is in your best interest?
Identify the Stakeholders Who Stand to Gain or Lose With Big Data
Musing irritably at your desk, unfortunately, isn’t going to convince the movers and shakers of big data’s worth. Identify the stakeholders—the ones who stand to gain from such an initiative, and the ones who have to assess the risks of such a massive undertaking. Once you understand who the stakeholders are, it will be easier to gather the information you need to convince them that big data stands to offer a positive return on investment.
Stakeholders include the executives, but also the tech department, legal department, marketing, human resources, and production workers. Tech will be responsible for migrating and analyzing data, and legal will need to oversee how data is stored and handled. Marketing stands to gain huge with big data, and they’ll be the ones developing marketing campaigns based on the consumer and industry data gathered and analyzed. Human resources will have to consider hiring practices, such as background checks on employees charged with working with the data (and eventually finding those elusive data scientists). Production workers need to be shown how big data stands to affect their daily workflow.
Find Examples of Other Organizations in Your Industry Using Big Data
Now it’s time to research. Find other organizations within your industry that are leveraging big data. What obstacles did they have to overcome? What unexpected benefits did they gain? Does your industry take advantage of big data for marketing only, or are they using it to streamline production, drive down costs, develop new products, or eliminate waste?
You’ll need to gather evidence of your competitors’ successes to convince others that big data is worth the effort and expense, but you’ll also need to collect as much information you can on the challenges others have overcome and what barriers they still face with big data.
Create Strategies for Overcoming the Obstacles to Big Data Adoption
Once you know the risks as well as the potential rewards, you can present this information to the stakeholders. However, it’s rarely advisable to present problems without offering acceptable solutions for overcoming those problems. Whatever obstacles and challenges you’ve found in your research, you need to be able to present affordable, realistic solutions for overcoming.
For example, one of the most common barriers to big data adoption is the myth that it’s too expensive. However, with high-performance, cloud-based big data analytics solutions, big data becomes extremely affordable and manageable. Another way to keep big data initiatives affordable is to turn to free, open-source solutions like Hadoop, R, Cascading, and Scribe.
If it takes time to get everyone on board, it’s not the end of the world. Although 73 percent of businesses are interested in undertaking big data initiatives, only 13 percent have done so already. The caveat is that those companies using big data are outperforming their competitors in a huge way. Big data is still young and there is plenty of time to do the research, sweet talk the stakeholders, and find acceptable solutions to the obstacles so that when your organization does undertake big data, it’s a successful venture.