By tapping into big data, companies can discover immense levels of capability for business intelligence that can help them make impactful decisions about their futures. By collecting more information, ensuring data quality and employing analysts to interpret statistical trends, executives can ensure that their businesses are governed not by pure intuition, but by rational thought.
All of the above seems like a given, yes? In 2013, it's hard to deny the power of big data. According to Information Management, however, plenty of business leaders are doing just that. The news source explains that often, a "mixed bag" of strategies is put into effect, as companies use a combination of big data and independent thought to make their decisions.
Companies love business intelligence, at least on some level. But what exactly does "intelligence" mean? That question is tougher to answer. Survey data regarding business intelligence conducted by Dresner Advisory Services found that 40 percent of companies "completely agree" that implementing BI has been a success, and about that same amount "somewhat agree" with that statement. Further, 70 percent of businesses said they plan to ramp up their use of BI in the next three years.
Yet Howard Dresner, the firm's chief research officer, isn't convinced that data plays quite the role in that movement that we might expect. He notes that 30 percent of those surveyed described big data as "not important" to their BI practices, and in addition, the trend of data warehousing is cooling off.
"We're getting better, we're getting closer, but certainly there is a lot of room for improvement," Dresner told Information Management. "Users have more discretionary spending than in the past. And if users are becoming the buyers, then the solutions are going to have to look a little different."
Over-reliance on data?
While many business leaders have embraced big data, some fear that relying upon it too much can be problematic. Tim Leberecht, chief marketing officer of global design and architecture firm NBBJ, recently wrote for CNNMoney that big data will never beat business intuition.
"I am not a dataphobe, but I am concerned about relying only on data," Leberecht wrote. "I am not against quantitative metrics, but I question their authority as the main indicators of business performance, prosperous societies, and meaningful lives."
Data collection and data quality will always be valued, but there's a growing sentiment that other pieces of the puzzle are important as well. Business leaders are broadening their intellectual horizons.