Learning new things about your business means acknowledging that you didn’t know everything already. Senior leaders who have been around a while or have a very focused area of expertise might be surprised to know how much they didn’t know. The best executive sponsors are those that embrace new decision making models and make a commitment to use big data in their own jobs. That can mean interacting with data scientists and business analysts, and even just digging a little bit deeper into operational information.
Once the organizational will is in place, planning for success requires a clear business case for big data investments, with quantifiable ROI targets and well defined performance metrics. Those metrics can be tricky to define precisely if they incorporate multiple functions or product lines (e.g., customer engagement).