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Impact of Big Data will take time to emerge

December 4, 2014
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This is generally the time when we take stock of the past 12 months and look ahead to the year in front of us. In 2014, Big Data captured the moment. Love it or hate it, the term Big Data has resonated. A lot of senior executives have expressed a dislike for the term Big Data. Not with idea but with the term, believing it to be unhelpful, insufficiently specific, and overblown, devoiding it of substantive meaning. Despite that, Big Data has been the right term for the right topic at the right time, and aptly its resonance has been both broad and deep.

Big data for sure is not a magic bullet that’s breaking through all of a businesses’ long standing challenges. However, it is a “big idea” that moved data from obscurity to center of the field making its relevance and presence felt by the “common man”. Big Data represents varying things to different audiences (social media data, sensor data, unstructured data etc.,). No matter what the term incites, no previous term or characterization has more effectively captured the power, the opportunity or the fascination that emergence of data as a business science has attained in recent years.

Organizations have been capturing, organizing, analyzing and reporting on data for decades, it would appear that Big Data has captured the imagination of technologists, executives, media and the public as data became more available accessible and integral to our professional and personal lives.

The impact of Big Data will emerge over time.

While we hear of more and more organizations taking big data initiatives, it would take time for us to see the results of Big data. We cannot yet see or fully appreciate Big Data would be most impactful. The practical implications of the internet have turned out, in ways to be more powerful than anyone had ever imagined. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) has enabled us to understand (“360 degree view”) and serve our customers better in many regards (e.g. “Get, keep, grow”), but not always as originally anticipated.

Adoption of anything new implies change, and change almost never happens overnight. Particularly with new technologies and ideas that demand new skills and knowledge, and that takes time. With time, these skills will be in industry for use and slowly results start to appear.


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