Big Data | Four must-haves for success

Big DataThere’s a lot of talk about Big Data, but using it effectively is where the rubber meets the road. The value of adopting a Big Data environment is finding ways to use data in more predictive and prescriptive ways.

That was the main message of a recent NICSA webinar on the topic hosted by Broadridge that included participants from Merrill Lynch, BNY Mellon, kasina and DST Systems. According to the panelists, most companies leverage only 10 percent of available data for decision-making.

Here are four critical factors for effective use of data in an organization:

  1. Leadership commitment – The top of the house must be fully committed. This requires not only a substantial investment in technology but also the right processes, people and expectations.
  2. Quality data – There’s no shortage of data, but quality is often an issue. Getting better data is an iterative process that works towards “information gain” by asking questions, re-testing, and letting the data be your guide.
  3. Analytical skills –Analysts who can interpret the numbers in meaningful ways are a key component. Ideal skills are business savvy, industry experience and customer knowledge. A collaborative team bringing different backgrounds to bear is better than trying to find one person who fits the bill.
  4. Belief and adoption – Belief that the data is good and the analytics are pure comes first. The next step is adoption. Some do it by directive, while others ramp-up more slowly with a pilot program or phased approach to Big Data.

Switching corporate decision-making from a gut-based to an empirical-based model takes time. If done right, it is well worth it.  

Is your firm adopting a Big Data strategy? Where are you in the timeline from belief to adoption? Please share your experience with NICSA.

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