Why Cultural Change Is Necessary For Big Data Adoption

When it comes to big data, culture can also swallow up huge capital outlays, high-powered infrastructure and the smartest teams of data scientists.

But the upside is that a data-driven culture can mean the difference between the full payoff of your big data analytics business case and returns that are just so-so.

Why is that? Consider the intersection of these powerful forces. Culture is about how organizations evaluate performance, allocate resources and encourage people to act. And big data potentially transforms all of those areas. That’s why cultures built on big data and advanced analytics are increasingly synonymous with high-performance organizations.

After all, everyone has loads of data. But the winners are those who have the expertise, motivation and capacity to use it effectively and to drive bottom-line results across the whole enterprise. At such firms, data is not just an asset, but rather a way of life.

Love it or hate it, big data is here to stay. As data volumes and sources of data proliferate at ever increasing rates, leading companies will be forced to plan for a data-driven future. Data is pervasive.  Businesses operate in an Age of Data. Rapid access to the latest data can accelerate innovation and disrupt traditional markets. Businesses are finding new ways to do business that serve their customers more effectively and responsively. Businesses can adapt or risk burying their heads in the sand.  Should there be any doubt about the prevalence of data, consider just a few “data points”:

  • IDC estimates that by 2020, business transactions on the Internet will reach 450 billion per day
  • Walmart handles more than 1 million customer transactions per hour
  • More than 5 billion people are calling, texting, tweeting, and browsing on mobile phones worldwide
  • More than 30 billion pieces of content are shared on Facebook each month
  • It is estimated that the volume of business data worldwide doubles every 1.2 years, or sooner
  • Data production will be 44 times greater in 2020 that it was in 2009.

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A Disruptive Force in the Digital Economy 💲- Big data is transforming businesses across industry sectors -- from industrial systems to financial services, from media to health care delivery, from drug discovery to government services, from national security to professional sports. The opportunity to deploy data and analytics has accelerated the speed at which companies can enter new markets, with new solutions, and quickly challenge or displace traditional competitors and market leaders. 

Leveraging Data as an Asset 📊- Data is an enterprise asset, which cuts across products, services, and organizational units of a company.  This makes data hard to manage and data initiatives difficult to organize. The big data mindset is driven by experimentation, discovery, agility, and a “data first” approach, characterized by analytical sandboxes, centers of excellence, and big data labs  This mindset often runs counter to, or can complement, traditional hypothesis-driven approaches to data management

Transforming the Mainstream Economy 🕑- We are at the formative stages of the Big data transformation – Big Data 1.0. The next battleground in the progression of Big data will be transformation of the mainstream economy, comprised of large global firms that maintain massive amounts of data, and make massive investments in data assets. Most traditional businesses are hamstrung by legacy systems, decades old data warehouses, and embedded cultures and skills sets that predate the new big data approaches. These corporations represent the lion’s share of investment in data solutions and services.


Big data equates to big change for most organizations. Just how big depends on where your organization is today.

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