80-20 Rule isn't good enough

The other day I was speaking with one of the top three global wireless CEO’s about big data. He said he had asked five other CEO’s at his level if they had seen the returns in big data that they expected. All five said they hadn’t seen enough returns to justify their investments.

My reaction is that’s right! Information is nothing if we don’t do something with it. No companies see significant returns until they get serious about big data. Once they do, it may take five years to see significant ROI. Industry analysts maintain only 10 percent of companies monetize their data today. Even if that grows to a third of businesses over the next three years as predicted, an even smaller percentage of those top tier companies collecting big data have invested in the in-house or third-party capabilities to mine big data for insights.

The companies that do invest, implement effective data governance strategies, and leverage the right tools both internal and third-party will be the industry leaders. They won’t settle for the 80/20 rule for driving results from their data. They’ll expect to get results from everything, to save everywhere and enhance the customer experience at all levels. The recent Economist article by Schumpeter points out, this won’t happen by “massive, instant holy grail solutions,” but rather by “lots of small advances.”

Today, there’s too much information for a human mind to make sense of it all, and it’s only getting worse. If we look at information as seeds cultivated into fields of crops, they reveal something different when seen as individual plants on the ground vs. at 1,000 feet. They have a different impact when seen at 100,000 feet and at 1M feet, yet another. We discover new details and patterns with each view. If companies don’t cultivate the seeds of their data, they won’t progress in the next five years. They will be in a constant reactive mode rather than the proactive, intelligent learning mode that’s necessary to transform and be competitive.

Intelligence is in the data, and more importantly, it’s in the connection of the data. Data grows by leveraging the data right next door to it.

By Marco Pacelli, CEO