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The King is dead. Long live the King.
February 16, 2016 News

Big data is already out of date and if we don’t focus our efforts into an all encompassing data structure the SME will drown in the deluge that is on its way.

It has been a slow and arduous few years with so much potential and promise from the big data community. With a few high profile wins keeping the enthusiasm going many SME boardrooms, as opposed to the larger companies that can throw copious monies around, have been sweating over their lack of footprint in the big data world. Peering through this fog those heads of department have worried about their potential to fall behind on hidden profits and so the clamour for the golden goose has been hurried and unstructured.

Those early promoters of the big data methodology haven’t helped the cause either.  The fabled data scientist, with their plethora of magical skills, had been heralded as the alpha and omega of the data world. Carried aloft and polished to a high sheen they were hailed as our saviour. Catch one and profits soar. Fail to and stay in the dark ages. If only we could find them though. Rarer than kryptonite and more mysterious than Keyser Soze the question has been asked. Where are they all? Of course the problem is that most SME’s want to hire one of these unicorns with the inbuilt requisite skills to sit down and solve all their problems instantly not realising that big data is not a single issue. It’s a collective. It’s a methodology as opposed to a set solution and the sooner the SME world realises that you don’t just pick up one of these data scientists but instead nurture them into their potential the better. But there lies the issue. So many promises have lead to over heightened expectations and data analytics is no different to any discipline. An education only goes so far. Real hands-on experience is what refines and focuses those talents. So we need to stop looking for them and start making them.

And now another problem is coming down the line. The data explosion that was the big data hype pales in comparison to what we will see over the next few years with the emergence of the internet of things (IOT). Everything is about to be connected. Your car will tell you when it needs fuel. Your shoes will tell you when they have walked beyond their limit. Your office will tell you how much air pressure optimises employee productivity. Everything will be monitored and the torrent of data that companies will now have to deal with will feel almost insurmountable. Advertising agencies, marketers and sales companies will be inundated with new streams of consumer metrics and few of them will have the grounding to handle it. This is on the way and we are not prepared. We have stuttered so much up until now without the foresight of what is to come the IOT might actually push us too far.

So how can we fix this problem? We need to do some of our own research. The average SME doesn’t need a team of data scientists to increase its profits. With the technology that is out there now, and there is a long list of technologies, a company should be able to sit down and figure out a simple and straight forward plan to guide their business. This plan doesn’t even need to cost the earth. There are plenty of free and as good as free solutions out there to suit any boards’ need. The push for highly trained programmers, statisticians and analysts is dead. Drag and drop software is abundantly available. The results do of course have to be interpreted by someone who knows what they’re doing but the time of the data science black box is over. And with this the hesitation to implement such strategies should stop. We need to get everyone on board. IT, Admin, Sales and all heads of departments need to step up and be counted. When the deluge of data from the IOT comes our way everyone needs to be able to work with it to solve our problems. Only this way will we be able to cope with it and gain maximum opportunity from the digital world we are all about to inhabit. Vive le IOT.

By Niall Wynne

BigCommuity Expert