What It Takes to Succeed with Big Data

By Tom Davenport

Big data is something that everyone in business needs to know about. Below, Tom Davenport discusses how organisations can harness the power of big data and suggests that the stand-alone era for big data and analytics is approaching the end of its useful life.

Delta Revisited

Several years ago, I developed the DELTA (data, enterprise, leadership, targets, and analysts) model for how to build analytical capabilities within an organization. It is also the basis for an assessment tool used by the International Institute for Analytics (an organization I cofounded several years ago). It may be useful to contrast the five factors in the model across big data and traditional analytics.


Enterprise Orientation for Big Data

In traditional analytics, it’s important to take an enterprise focus—to share data, technology, and people across the organization to achieve your analytical objectives. But for the early adopters of big data—primarily start-ups and online firms—this wasn’t much of an issue. People were anxious simply to get something going, and how it related to other big data and analytics initiatives was not much of a concern.

However, there is one factor that is leading to more enterprise coordination: the integration of big data and traditional analytics in large organizations. I interviewed with twenty large organizations pursuing big data initiatives, and not a single one was dealing with big data separately from traditional analytics.

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