Returns on big data investments remain elusive

As big data becomes more popular across industries, it is clear that businesses are struggling to monetize their efforts in the analytics arena despite the progressive advances taking place among the technology’s developers. This is not all that surprising considering the sheer novelty of the trend itself, but it is time for companies to begin refining their strategies to get more out of their investments into the software involved.

In some situations, firms will struggle due to a lack of proper handling with respect to the frontend aspects of analytics including data preparation, despite being able to leverage support from reliable service providers. In others, it will be a matter of poor strategic planning and employee preparation. Regardless, though, standards and practices to maximize returns are becoming more well-known, and it is up to leaders to more diligently apply these frameworks to their own initiatives.

Client information considerations
One of the primary targets of many big data strategies is customer relationships, both with respect to research of prospective clientele and the analysis of behaviors among already-converted individuals with a focus on retention. Gartner recently argued that while modern customer data is indeed becoming more valuable over time, many firms have yet to truly boost their financial returns on collection, analysis and sharing investments.

According to the analysts, companies might benefit from applying traditional asset management standards to their handling of information, as this will tend to put files under a magnifying glass and ensure that they are generating value.

Companies continue to struggle when trying to monetize customer data. Companies continue to struggle when trying to monetize customer data.

“Digital business is having a significant impact on customer data,” Douglas Laney, vice president at Gartner, affirmed. “The growing wealth of information – from social media, location and context-sensitive data collected from mobile devices and the Internet of Things – is increasing the volume, velocity and variety of that information, radically expanding the scope of the 360-degree customer profile.”

What’s more, as the technology itself is becoming more powerful, and firms might be struggling to capitalize simply because they do not overhaul their standing business models to foster strong analytics performances. Gartner asserted that the time is now to refine risk management, security and general information governance frameworks to better align core strategies with the use of analytics software.

The path forward
Data preparation, visualization efforts and other aspects of analytics utilization will become more critical to general business performances in the coming years, as so many leaders are already reliant upon intelligence tools to make the right decisions. Without the support necessary to get these processes right, more money and resources might be wasted due to poor functionality, management and measurement.

Self-service options are available for a range of big data needs, while companies can also look to outsourced solutions providers to handle the entirety of their analytics programs. Rather than trying to go it alone and work through the complexities in an inefficient manner, the time is now to embrace managed services for these needs.