At one time, only the corporate elite could afford to collect and crunch millions of data points to optimize their businesses. But with the advent of big data as a service, companies of all sizes now have the chance to take part in the big data revolution.
Although the need for data isn’t new, the amount of information and the type of intelligence it can provide looks starkly different than it did even a few years ago. In fact, the same amount of data influx that was achieved over the past 50 years is now achieved every two days.
If you’re serious about data, you need a way to store, manage, and analyze millions of numbers that will point your business in the right direction. As your company expands, your data stockpile will also grow exponentially. Wrangling a large volume of data early on will free you to focus on the creative growth of your company. And with the help of BDaaS, you can better understand the data you’re collecting, how to set it up against your strategy, and how to hone your competitive advantage through data.
But with so many outsourced tools, cloud providers, and consulting services available, you need to diagnose the state of your company before prescribing the right BDaaS solution.
To make data work for you, start with these six steps:
It’s important to honestly work through this point before moving forward. You need an overall strategy in place and should feel comfortable with your long-term goals to get value out of BDaaS companies.
If you are in survival mode or still struggling to stay afloat, you’re probably not ready to invite external support into your organization. Recent changes in management or overloaded employees are also telltale signs it’s not the right time. You need adequate time, money, and human resources to devote to proper adoption.
However, if you’re hungry for growth opportunities, don’t wait to invest in data management.
If you have the budget, consider hiring an internal data expert. Of course, having a dedicated data manager on staff will be valuable, but make sure to weigh the cost of hiring someone internally versus externally to see whether you can justify the expense.
Many entrepreneurs fall into the trap of thinking they need to wear every hat. But undertaking your data management requires constant care and attention. To find the right BDaaS balance, focus your energy on what you do best, and leave the data duties to trusted advisors. An external company or expert will have a fresh perspective that can help you build the most efficient system possible.
You’ll need to express the status and trajectory of your company to the big data consultant you choose to hire. The advisor should seek to understand the current state of your business and your data organization methods to conduct a status report and determine areas of weakness and opportunity. Carefully audit your current data management process, and be prepared to communicate the ins and outs to your partner.
A good outside firm will be able to innovate and manage your data practices without scrapping your existing structure. If you’ve started a business, chances are you’ve established at least some data foundation. An outside company should help you construct an initial strategy based on the foundation you’ve built, work with you to develop a new process for collecting and housing data, determine any need for new tools and processes, and work with your team to adapt and adopt these new processes. Be sure to choose a company that integrates your existing data into the new structure.
There’s always a level of risk involved with manipulating the structure of your business. A new data management system will inevitably upset your daily processes as your team adapts. It will take time and patience before you feel fully integrated and comfortable with the systems, but the insights you gather will be well worth the initial growing pains.
Imagine thinking about your company’s huge data expanse and feeling a rush of excitement instead of nausea. With BDaaS, you can now confidently collect and store data knowing your company will extract valuable insights from it. Don’t treat your valuable data store like a collection of random numbers. Monetize this information through BDaaS, and you’ll begin to uncover new ways data can set your startup apart from the pack.
About the Author
Asha Saxena is the president and CEO of Future Technologies Inc., a data management and analytics firm based in Plainfield, New Jersey. Contact Asha to have her speak at your next event or conference.