Knowledge Management

Big Data Analytics Today Lets Businesses Play Moneyball

The Oakland Athletics used data analytics to create a competitive baseball team despite limited resources. This was known at the time as “Moneyball”, and that idea is coming back in a big way within IT. This time, however, it’s big data that’s providing the analytics. Thor Olavsrud, the author of this article, recognizes that there is plenty of big talk about big data ““ but he also knows there is some big action as well. Citing findings from the Economist Intelligence Unit, Olavsrud states that two thirds of a 607 executives surveyed indicated that the analysis of data underpins the entire firm’s business strategy. Yet another study done by Avanade found 91 percent of respondents are already using tools to analyze data. This represents a huge change from how strategy was determined in the past. The Avanade study also identified how the shift is occurring: Avanade’s study also shows a cultural shift occurring. Data management and analysis were once considered IT jobs. But that’s changing quickly. Today, 58 percent of respondents say that data management is now embedded throughout business operations. And 95 percent of businesses with dedicated business analysts do not consider data analysts a part of their IT staff. Instead, enterprises are distributing that expertise to line-of-business groups throughout the company. And 59 percent of global companies also say that more employees than ever before are involved in making decisions as a result of more widely available company data. This suggests that the successful use of big data will spell out a competitive advantage for those who are adept enough to utilize it. In order to gain full advantage, companies must consider what they need to change in their current data analysis procedures: the volume of data to be analyzed will exponentially increase ““ and in order to analyze that data a dedicated staff is required. Another consideration comes from the quality of data collected: the quality of the data dictates the quality of decisions made from that data (and the amount of time it takes to reach a decision, as well). So the question becomes which is more important: the tool used to gather the data, or the people utilized to analyze it? The trick, according to Olavsrud, is to use the MORE approach: Merge data, Optimize the data collected, Respond to the data collected, and Empower your staff to act off of big data findings.

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