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10 ways to win the ‘big data’ analytics race

Whether you prefer to call it information management and analytics, ‘big data’ or business intelligence, you are likely to be amongst the majority of fast growing and enterprise organisations who have imagined the benefits of becoming a data driven business and entered what we call ‘the big data race’


Of course it’s a race where we have to set our own finish line. A point at which we have achieved a milestone in our data strategy. Technology and techniques will continue to move forwards at great pace and we will want to embrace them.

Winning the race is not about reaching a finish line first, it’s more about always being ahead of your competition. Out front, with an advantage. Get the data strategy right, deliver the sector leading solution and a significant and sustainable advantage can be achieved. A combination of operational efficiencies, productivity increase, fresh insights and the ability to reliably predict future outcomes are giving businesses all over the world substantial savings and market share gains.

All major organisations are in the race. There is someone on everyone’s heels, from the largest global corporations to the newest, fastest growing and most agile start-ups. Whilst many investments in information management and analytics are successfully delivering returns, there are organisations struggling to get their projects across the start line, let alone ahead of the competition.

Here at EBI we are often asked to work with organisations whose existing projects are failing and missing schedule. This can be for a wide variety of reasons, however there is always a solution to turn projects around.

From our experience of what stalls projects here are 10 tips to help you ensure yours is a winner:

1. Be absolutely certain you have the business needs defined and very clear success criteria.

2. Focus on delivering against the business need rather than creating a technology showcase.

3. Get the correct information management in place from the start. Ensuring your data is combined and formatted in the right way is the fundamental building block of your whole solution.

4. Break your project into manageable build streams, each of which can either have a defined purpose in the overall solution or be more iterative and agile to get a project moving fast.

5. Be disciplined your in your project management and meticulous in your project administration.

6. Fully engage the project team. Both internal and external, every stakeholder must buy in.

7. Think ahead, build a strategy and framework that is scalable and flexible so your solution can develop and grow around it.

8. Be innovative. Select the most appropriate off-the-shelf technologies and optimise their capabilities within your solution. Where necessary add bespoke applications to give you the edge.

9. Consumerise your solution, the exciting stuff happens after implementation. Users must have access to the information and analytics in a quick and usable way. A well designed and elegant user interface will increase take up and productivity.

10. Go viral. Sell your solution across your organisation to maximise use and benefits. A successful solution for one department often inspires new solutions for other teams.

These points are by no means everything you need to consider but in our experience they are important to success. When they go right you win. If they go wrong progress can be slow and disappointing or at very least stop you gaining the full competitive advantage available.