CFOs suspect there’s value lurking in the ever-increasing amounts of information their businesses are collecting. But acquiring new technologies to make sense of it all is only a starting point. According to a recent report, enterprise data is expected to grow by 650% in the next five years. Another study found that the world’s data is doubling every two years, and that businesses will manage 50 times more data, and files will grow 75 times more in the next decade.
Where’s all this data coming from? It’s coming from ubiquitous sensing devices such as RFID (radio frequency identification) readers, wireless networks (all those smart phones), social networks (the “like” buttons on Facebook; Twitter feeds; mobile location services such as Foursquare), point-of-sale systems, and on and on.
CFOs know that there’s money out there in all that data, but the challenge is how to turn that data into new opportunities. The good news is that new technologies are making it more economical to make sense of all this data. To keep up and capture value from all this data, organizations will have to deploy these new technologies including storage, computing, and analytical software. However, those technologies will not provide the opportunities. That’s still up to the people who make business decisions. But when that data is coming at you hard and fast and changes quickly, it requires speedy analysis and decision making.
Business needs to take ownership of the data. Tools are available to anybody and you can buy what you can afford to, but what you do with it is a people-based activity, a skill base you have to mature. With large volumes of information comes the risk of flooding your managers and sales reps with so much information they will not be able to act effectively. They will lose the critical understanding of the smallest number of realistic actions that will produce the most powerful set of results. And it’s not just managers and sales reps at risk of information overload, or analysis paralysis. It’s CFOs. So it’s essential to know what you want to get from the data before losing yourself in it.
Nailing down an ROI for that data is very difficult; the benefits are never clear-cut. You can’t approach business intelligence as an IT project … it’s a business transformation project. Contact ASI to learn more.