Trust Your Intuition: One of the 4 Pillars of Big Data Success

What, exactly, is the cloud?

  • The Intuitive CEO: Steve Jobs
  • Chart: Big Data Adoption
  • 4 Pillars for Success with Big Data
  • Big Data Insights for Smart Strategy

The Intuitive CEO: Steve Jobs

One of the greatest traits that many business leaders have is confidence in their own sense of the right path forward – a sureness that isn’t based on rational evidence but a “funny feeling.” In other words, they value the subtle suggestions they get from their own antennae: their intuition.

One person who famously used his intuition to drive ahead of competition is Steve Jobs. Jobs (yeah, that guy) led the team that created the iPad and made it so popular, which was an incredible success since there wasn’t any established demand for it. He basically convinced people that smart phones and PCs were not enough – that for certain scenarios, tablets are ideal.

It really was a remarkable feat. It would have been no matter how Jobs had achieved it, but it is important to realize that he gambled on developing this new type of device because he was trusting his gut. Intuition can be incredibly valuable. Combine it with insights drawn from strong analytics, and your business can skyrocket. Luckily for adopters of big data, many business leaders have still not figured out that intuition can be best used in conjunction with big data.

Envisioning big-data applications for your company can be overwhelming considering the amount of information available and the numerous ways to possibly incorporate it,” says Future Technologies Ceo Asha Saxena. “But the longer you contemplate taking the plunge, the further you’ll fall behind as the competition forges ahead with new insights.”

Chart: Big Data Adoption

Companies get it at this point, basically: almost 3 in 4 US firms either have already adopted big data projects or are getting ready to start throwing money in that direction. The data below from Gartner Research shows pretty clearly how things are trending:

Does your company either currently have a budget for big data or will it have one within two years?

Yes No
2013 64% 31%
2014 73% 24%

4 Pillars for Success with Big Data

If you really want a competitive advantage, you want to mine data for its most valuable resources: patterns that make us better understand our customers and our world. Here are four pillars for big data success:

  1. Intuition (enhanced by insight)

Combine intuition with analytics. That way you are reasonably gathering whatever information you can from the technology but aren’t blindly accepting answers. You think fluidly, as a human, basing your perspective on both your head and your gut.

Allow what you perceive instinctively to have a voice in the decision-making process.

  1. Data ecosystem

You need to build your own ecosystem that is integrated with the data, both feeding it and using the data as fertilizer to drive growth. You want your data machine to be open, front-and-center to your staff.

“Fashion dashboards that will make data metrics constantly visible,” comments Saxena. “Connect each piece of the infrastructure to your business goals by having regular touch-point meetings.”

What you’re doing essentially is not just implementing a technological platform but creating a business platform on which everyone can discuss and collaborate more effectively. Everyone should know the purpose of everything in the system: why each metric is significant and how they combine to build toward goals.

  1. Open-door policy

If you have some great analytics, you can get the most use out of them by showing them to more of your people.

“If members of your staff know how each aspect of the company is performing, they’ll feel more accountable for its health,” says Saxena. “Get into a rhythm of actively discussing how [individual performance] relates to the bigger growth picture.”

  1. Adaptation

Take metrics and use them to apply possible improvements. Consistently watch the results and modify in real-time.

Big data insights will also give you a sense of timing, so you know when to initiate changes. They help you determine ROI on projects and figure out whether adjustments you make are sending the company in the right or wrong direction.

Data is fundamentally informative, if you look at it through the right lenses. The data-driven organization, operating through cloud servers, has the opportunity to build fast and scale seamlessly.

Big Data Insights for Smart Strategy

Intuition can send you down interesting paths, and it’s best to take that “inner voice” seriously if you want to take bold steps into uncharted territory. Intuition, though, must be coupled with data-driven insight for the best possible performance.

The best possible performance is also necessary with your technology. Choose one  that, as indicated by Passmark ratings, regularly and impressively outperforms servers with the same or similar specs from AWS and SoftLayer: the Superb cloud.

By Kent Roberts

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