"Put big data at the heart of corporate strategy"

Updated: Sep 10, 2018

"Jessops (photographic retailing), JJB Sports (British Sports retailer), Comet Group (Electrical retail chain), Habitat (retailer of household furniture) and Borders (international book and music retailer) have all recently entered into administration. Perhaps the one commonality is that they failed to remain tuned to their environment and changing customer requirements, so simply couldn't survive in their current form. Some subsequently have been rescued in full or part by realigning the business model to meet customer needs."

Mission critical refers to any factor of a system (equipment, process, procedure, software) whose failure will result in the failure of business operations. Software designed to analyze big data insights from structured and unstructured data is not yet defined as mission critical, like say Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) as its failure would not stall business operations. It is however arguably more critical than that as not acting on market insights and intent from competitors, customers, partners and suppliers can result in failure of the entire system.

Large-scale data gathering and analytics are quickly becoming critical in competitive differentiation. The facts speak for themselves an estimated 2.5 zettabytes of data were generated in 2012 alone (Oracle, 2012) and trends indicate that the volume of business data will grow significantly every year. Organizations who have access to key data, draw insights from it and translate it into action financially outperform those that don't according to a recent IBM study.

It would perhaps be fair to say that organisations have not yet fully embraced the true potential value of big data. Even the most sophisticated global organisations have barely scratched the surface of utilising insights from big data to secure competitive advantage and turn data into a strategic company asset. My view is that a company's data strategy needs to be moved from the periphery to the centre of how business strategy is designed and implemented. For corporate strategy this changes how it is both constructed and implemented, corporate strategy changes with big data.

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