Want to Fit Into Big Data? You'd Better Hit the Gym First!

By Kathy Broadbent posted 06-14-2012 20:54


Big Data is sexy! 

Like that little red dress on the boutique floor, it would look great on your company.  Capturing and properly using the analytics of all of the data that flows through your organization has amazing potential.

Not sure about which direction to head with next year’s marketing budget?  There’s a dashboard on the marketing director’s desk that tells us exactly how effective our dollars have been over the last 3 years.  Who is hitting what on our website and email blasts, how does that number correlate to customer retention and new business?  We don’t need to rely on blasts anymore; we can individually market to each person within an organization within an industry to address their specific need.

Not sure how to improve employee productivity?  Well let’s start by looking at a report that stack ranks each employee in sales, service, IT or administration and tells us where they spend their time, how productive their work is and where the breakdowns are.  Do we need to improve training, technology, management, resources?  It’s all there in the data.

How can we improve our customer experience?  We can tell by their buying habits at both our organization and others what they like and don’t like.  How many “touches” do we have with them? What is their behavior or response to each unique “touch?” The data tracks it all and tells a story.

Who wouldn’t love to slip that sexy dress on tomorrow?  Only problem is, without doing the work ahead of time, it just won’t fit.

The majority of companies have hopes of harnessing all of the data that is available to improve their organizations, but few have the systems in place to do so, and even fewer have succeeded in getting those systems to communicate with each other.  In the recent study provided by AIIM, only 9% of the companies polled had content management systems and ECM in place across their organizations and only 4% were using analytics tools to analyze the data they’re capturing.  However, over 60% of those surveyed said it would be useful.  Why aren’t they already harnessing all of this information?  Because it ain’t easy.

Finding and implementing the right systems is a challenge for any organization.  What has typically happened over the past 30 years in technology buys, is a “break fix” approach. 

Does this sound familiar?  We need a new ERP, let’s get one that can replace what we have today.  Two years later…we need to send an email blast to our existing client base to inform them of upcoming changes and opportunities.  Well, we have our client email information in our ERP but that doesn’t allow us to export it for marketing purposes so let’s get a CRM.  Two years later…we need to allow our customer service representatives to access contracts, invoices, change orders, data and delivery tickets to answer client questions.  Well, some of this information is stored in the ERP and some is stored in CRM, so let’s get another system where we can put copies of the content that can be accessed by customer service.  The technicians need access to client service data but can’t access information remotely in our existing ERP.  OK, let’s get a different management system where we can duplicate the data that the technicians need but that can be accessed remotely.  And so on and so on and so on…

Part of the reason for this approach is that technology is changing at such a rapid pace that every time we finally decide to move forward with a solution, a new solution with more capabilities has come out.  That being said, the other major reason for this ‘break / fix’ approach is that it is hard work to sit down, map out what systems and processes we have and make the hard decisions.  Are these the right systems?  If not, what are?  And even more importantly, are these the right processes?  If not, what are?

However, if you can do the hard work, really understand where you are today, where you’re looking to go, and what is the right technology to implement to get you there, you can harness your data and the sky in the limit.

Do the work and you are going to look hot in that dress!



#ECM #BigData #analytics #ContentManagement #BusinessProcessManagement #businessprocesses