Do You Really Need Big Data?


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You think you need big data

  • You need to understanding all those interactions and connections
  • You need databases and decisioning tools and analysts and consultants
  • You need to know what all those patterns are telling you
  • You need the competitive advantage

After all, knowledge is power, it is obvious, isn’t it?

Maybe you could start with small data

Don’t worry about all the big data you don’t have, use all the small data you do

  1. Be clear what the problem is.  Are you too slow, too expensive, is your quality poor, do you have unhappy customers? Write down the problem.
  2. Generate theories and ideas. Is it a lack of materials?  Could it be too many hand offs?  Is it a lack of training, poor routing, one particular machine, or the office in Birmingham?   Create some hypotheses.
  3. Find some data — any data — that will confirm or deny your suspicions. You will be amazed how much you have once you start to look for it.  Find the data you need.
  4. Finally, draw together your evidence and work out what is causing the issue.  Solve the problem.

Then the real wizardry can begin…

But only if you do something about it

All the data in the world is useless if you don’t pay any attention to it.

The definition of big data? Who cares, it is what you are doing with it ~ Bill Franks

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Republished with author's permission from original post.

James Lawther
James Lawther is a middle-aged middle manager. To reach this highly elevated position he has worked for many organisations, from supermarkets to tax collectors and has had multiple roles from running a night shift to doing operational research. He gets upset by operations that don't work and mildly apoplectic about poor customer service.


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