The Revelation of Data


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The artist James Turrell once said, “Light is not so much something that reveals, as it is itself the revelation.” This is such a profound statement. Given the influx of data and the spotlight on leveraging Big Data, I immediately paralleled light with information. If we were to sit and think about it, information in the right context, at the right time, is indeed light.

Data Dispels Darkness

One data point can shed some modicum of light on a project. Today, with the data deluge, we can leverage much more than a data point to dispel organizational ignorance and influence real decisions. I recently read an article on Target’s skillful data usage to detect customer buying patterns. By mining customer information, they were able to determine if their customer was pregnant and their due date! Darkness dispelled. In fact, McKinsey reports that “Retailers that use big data analysis to better understand consumer behavior could expect to improve its operating margins by 60%.

Data Discloses Danger

Have you ever driven without lights? Pot holes, corners and dangerous precipices thwart any notions of driving blind. Why then do we want to drive organizational strategy, processes and change without insight? If we could just harness our data and exploit it effectively, we can identify patterns and nuances amidst the perceived chaos of Big Data—patterns that incite innovation, efficiency, customer intimacy and forward thinking strategy. Forward thinking that based on hard facts that minimizes errors. Research shows us that “Big data tools could help companies reduce product development and assembly costs by as much as 50%.”

Data Displays Warnings

I’ve been doing a lot of travelling lately, and each time I land, I’m thankful for my skilled pilot and lighted runways. Like lighted runways, buoys and light houses, they caution and warn us of hazards. McKinsey reports that “40% of executives agreed that providing in-depth insights and information to support planning and decision making is now increasingly vital.” By using insights gleaned from big data organizations, it can make informed decisions regarding product development, customer engagement and business operations.

Like Turrell’s statement on light, I’d like to advocate that, “Data is not so much something that reveals, as it is itself the revelation.” How are you using your data to expose insight across your organization?

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Stacy Leidwinger
Stacy Leidwinger serves as product management director for the Vivisimo Velocity Information Optimization Platform. In her role, she assists in driving product roadmap, market requirements, product positioning as well as interacting closely with customers and partners to understand their information challenges.


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