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How Ease of Use Will Make Big Data A Bigger Deal in 2014

Big Data

It’s not exactly an insider secret that the productivity big data and business intelligence bring to the table are leading the way in how businesses operate. Big data has become an essential element that we need to sustain productivity and the longevity of overall commercial success. So there is great news about big data and business intelligence and where it is headed in the New Year.

As a top priority for any businesses’ success, knowing how consumers are responding—or will respond in the future—is vital. For example, how consumers will receive the next product line is likely the most important kind of big data we can get our hands on. So what will change in 2014 that will make big data better in this respect? Predictive analysis is the name of the game, and making it easier to use and understand will be the new black in the spring season.

How Ease of Use Will Make Big Data A Bigger Deal in 2014  image MckinseyBigData v9 368175 690
Infographic via: McKinsey

Predictive analytics within business intelligence is about to get an important renovation—The types of support tools, such as big data dashboards and easier to understand forecast outcomes will allow data analysts and data scientists to present information about the company’s future in a manner that will be easier to digest for other team members within the company without having to do too much additional work.

Taking the raw data and creating reports in lay-terms faster means analysts can deliver more big data to those who need it faster. Because, let’s face it, most data analysts and scientists are not interested in taking the information they have gathered and transforming it into a report that can be baby-fed to those who may not understand all the complex nuances of big data aggregation and analysis.

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Having the option to bring data that has yet to be fully analyzed to those who need to be in the loop via a simple dashboard is a great idea, but it will mean the “higher ups” can see things like past reports, and what the big data gurus on their team are working on for future presentations, and more. Now, this might mean more emails and other interactions between the analytics team and other employees, CEOs, and board members, but while this might initially cause so extra work on the part of the analysts, it will help to cultivate the relationships between these two disparate groups, which can only mean more cohesiveness across the board. It also means that when the time comes for presentations and meetings, the important decision-making men and women with the corner offices are already at least somewhat prepared to understand the big data material they are about to be presented with.

This makes Q&A sessions shorter (time is money) and also offers a way for this newly enhanced relationship between executives and analysts to ask and answer questions in a friendlier manner because the company culture has changed. When this transformation occurs, the data team will be more at ease and less nervous with what they are presenting, and executives and other important employees will feel more comfortable asking questions that previously they may not have wanted to ask to avoid getting an answer they were not prepared to hear.

All of this means better planning through the simplest and oldest formula for success for any company: communication. With dashboards and other tools that integrate visibility to those outside of the big data fold, implementation of big data can help top dog decision makers offer up suggestions that analysts may not have considered. For example, an executive who may be wondering what forecasts based on big data are suggesting for the next fiscal quarter can shoot off an email to his or her analyst team, get the answers he or she is looking for, and then respond with information the analysts may not have been privy to. This new level of quality control can mean the difference between data teams chasing information that should not be a priority and changing course based on what they’re hearing from an executive, plan appropriately, and begin to process different data that will meet the more time sensitive needs of business owners and executives.

Changes in data management and visibility in 2014 will begin the age of the “big data for dummies” era, which may sound offensive, but in its essence, will ultimately create enhanced results faster—expediency, change of course when necessary, and higher visibility to those who need it most means higher customer satisfaction, and a higher profit margin.

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