As outlined in my last post, successful big data initiatives start with a vision and a plan. But to big dataeffectively execute them, you need a platform that can support doing business the data-driven way.

Platforms, Harvard Business School’s Tom Eisenmann writes, “provide infrastructure and rules that facilitate groups’ transactions and can take many guises.” Above all they are trusted, discoverable, and usable. A platform is where people can find each other, and consummate the exchanges they value.

Diverse as platforms are, whether they are handling mega- or mini-data loads every platform has to deliver the same core capabilities. Among the more critical ones:

  • Global, scalable and dynamic: able to adapt to rapid acceleration of business process, supportive of continuous investment and developments on a global basis
  • Manages data of all kinds: integrates structured and unstructured, transactional and social, video, text, and photos, and helps analysts bring all into analysis for purposes of discovery and insight, modeling and prediction
  • Facilitates “one shared truth” views of events and people: provides end-to-end business process visibility, and 360-degree views of events and customers, synthesizing fragments into a complete picture
  • Real time: helps decision-makers monitor and act on real-time feeds and dashboards, supporting decisions in context, compressing time to discernment, insight, and action
  • Supports and engages platform users in collaboration, anywhere, anytime from any device around shared processes, projects or events
  • Secure, resilient, and trusted: infrastructure and rules protect and assure users and their data.The platform can sustain attack or disruption, and is recoverable fast
  • Governed and managed: rules are clear, enforced, and supportive of business purposes. Provenance of data used is known and accepted.

“You want to be able to get your data, you want to be able to process it, you want to be able to share it, and you want to be able to query it,” a big data guru told a recent audience. And with the right platform, you can. So choose wisely.