The Big Data Budget

LONDON: The British Chancellor of the Exchequer Rt. Hon. George Osborne MP delivered his annual budget this week. Osborne announced a brace of economic measures and reported economic recovery ahead of forecast. His economic strategy balances austerity and growth in manufacturing and high-tech and introduces exciting new opportunities in Big Data.

£42m funding for research and a new institute named after code breaker and legendary British scientist Alan Turing was announced. In interviews with Insight.com and the Smart Data Collective I welcomed the news and warned of an ‘information arms race’. Business of ‘all size’ need to understand this ‘arms race’ and its implications.

Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work and Think

Define your Big Data Strategy NOW

Data production is now measured in quintillions of bytes per day. If your customers or competitors have better information, technology and analytics then it is time to worry and urgently get to grips with your Big Data strategy.

This means:

  1. Understanding your critical business information – including ownership, quality, size and scale and growth rate
  2. Understanding your customers and competitors – Customer demands are constantly changing. They want to be treated as individuals, not customer segments. They demand (and deserve) excellent and immediate customer service, innovation and competitive prices. Customer satisfaction must be actively managed and customer sentiment (particularly in the context of social media) must not be ignored. Competitors are looking for a competitive edge, which can be found in better information and smarter analytics. If your Big Data strategy is weak (or non existent) expect to see an erosion in market share. If competitors can gain more insight into your customers and move quickly to satisfy emerging need, your business will come under serious pressure
  3. Understand your technology strategy and the Big Data technologies you will adopt in your technology roadmaps

Big Data Ecosystem

Big Data Technology Ecosystem

Your Big Data Strategy should answer three critical questions:

  1. What information do I have? (and how can I exploit it)
  2. What information do I need? (and where can I obtain it)
  3. How will I find and then exploit new insights? (for competitive advantage and customer delight)

These are deceptively simple questions.

Data Science for Business: What you need to know about data mining and data-analytic thinking

Beware Big Data Naysayers

The British Chancellor understands that Big Data research will be a key enabler of economic growth for the UK and British businesses. Data growth is exponential and Big Data analytics is critical in every conceivable business context.

Do not ignore Big Data and allow customer dissatisfaction and competitor strength to overwhelm you. As the arms race continues, those that act fast and smart will triumph. Those that act slowly or without focus will suffer the cruellest of fates. The information arms race will not take prisoners.

Further Reading