It's A Journey Not A Destination

Talking about the future of big data is somewhat beside the point, because it’s very much a “here and now” phenomenon. Many market leaders are already using big data and big data analytics in ways that seem futuristic to their lagging competitors.

These companies have defined their big data futures, but, as impressive as these programs sound, they really only scratch the surface of what’s possible. As much as Major League Baseball does with big data, it’s safe to say we are in the first inning – and maybe just after the very first pitch of the first inning – of a very long game to come.

Most questions about the future of big data are often questions about realizing the value of big data as quickly as possible. In that sense, it’s quite useful to talk about defining the future of big data at your company:

  • How to start monetizing big data? Through actionable insights and opportunistic action – in tweaking marketing campaign offers, refining operations and engaging customers in new ways?
  • Who will use big data? Data scientists in an analytics centers of excellence? Function-specific business analysts? Big data ninjas, black belts or all of the above?
  • What new business problems can big data solve? And what new markets might it open?
  • How big data will drive better and faster performance management models?
The future of Big Data and what it looks like from Teradata.

Seizing the Big Data strategic possibilities

For all of these reasons, having a sense of the possible, especially relative to the Internet of Things, is important. And the possibilities will be astounding, blurring the lines of industries and fundamentally altering the way businesses interact with their customers and each other.

In preparing for the future of big data, where should executives seeking tangible ROI tomorrow focus their thinking today? Groundbreaking future results start with disciplined and incremental steps in the near- and mid-terms.

  • Strategic focus – today the most important question to ask is how can big data improve business performance; it may be the most important question, tomorrow, too.
  • Operationalization – moving beyond pilot projects and past the “science project in the basement” stage is critical to reaching future scale with big data investments.
  • Integration and Ecosystems – holistic, big-picture views are necessary to knit together the right big data repositories in optimal fashion and establish a flexible foundation for the future, with the highest value data readily accessible to the right users, and well defined business rules and governance structures in place.
  • Cultural Shifts – data-driven business and analytics-enabled decision making processes must become the norm, which seems inevitable in the next generation, but the firms who get there first will have decided advantage.
  • Right People on the Bus – having the right skills and teams working together, with strong and purposeful leadership, are necessary now, and will continue to pay off later.

Who's setting the pace?

Early adopters and top performers are already driving forward on all these big data fronts. They have created urgency to shape the future. Here again, the future is now. Or, to put it another way, the future of big data will arrive faster for some organizations than for others.

Looking Forward – The Big Data Future