By Vikram MotianiDirector, Dell EMC Education Services (APJ)
Data science continues to be a hot topic for two reasons:
- Businesses universally agree that they should be making better use of data to help them grow revenue by addressing the needs of new markets and audiences (namely the Information Generation), and to improve operational effectiveness and efficiency. IDC predict a 34% growth annually until 2019 around investments in big data. This isn’t a trend; it’s here to stay.
- Businesses are struggling to find data analysts and data scientists needed to manage Big Data.
This talent void means that data science is often passed around inside organizations like a hot potato. Data does after all offer huge tactical and strategic value to pretty much every department within an organization, with several key lines of business seeming like a natural “home” for it. More specifically, marketing and customer service teams are driving it so they can analyze customer trends and habits, while finance is where the analytical brains of a business are often situated. And, of course, IT teams control many of the technical tools and systems needed for advanced analytics.
Unfortunately, passing around the “hot potato” is unlikely to drive substantial success. Instead, organizations need to appoint a senior C-level executive to oversee and champion the data science program. Whoever is chosen must approach data science from a holistic and strategic point of view, taking the needs of all stakeholders into account. They should understand its strategic potential and have the jurisdiction to shape a team and wider-organizational culture to drive the Big Data agenda.
They also need to push for development of in-house data science expertise for line of business leaders across the entire organization. It’s only by ensuring that all senior decision makers have the strategic, business transformation, and technical skills to glean its value that it will have the desired overall impact. This is particularly important for SMEs who may not have the resources to win the expensive data science recruitment battle.
How is your organization approaching Big Data? Let me know in the comments section below. If you’d like to connect with me directly, I’d be happy to share with you some recent examples of how other organizations are approaching, and gaining valuable insights, from Big Data initiatives.