Saying that data is exploding is like saying the sun rises in the east. It is self evident. Even though “big data” is a horribly ambiguous term, it’s worth mentioning that every enterprise is dealing with their own version of big data. According to Twitter user @DevOps_Borat, “Big data is anything which is crash Excel.” The humorous grammar aside, he makes a valid point.
As a business leader, it’s the consequences of this data explosion that you need to care about.
Two key consequences result:
- Knowledge Gap: The difference between collecting data and understanding data
- Execution Gap: The difference between understanding data and acting on it
If you are like most enterprises, then you have invested time and energy in addressing the knowledge gap using analytics, business intelligence and data warehousing.
While it is hard to bridge both these gaps at once, focusing on just the knowledge gap will cause “knowledge impotence,” i.e., too much knowledge and too little action.
For example, you may have solved the knowledge gap by knowing the answer to a simple question like: How many customers do you have in total and how many have you lost?
However an execution gap may still exist, because you now segment your customers in 20 ways but still deal with them in 2. Or you may be aware of a competitive threat but not have a good way to operationalize your response.
This execution gap kills your mojo, your competitive advantage.
The good news is that there are systematic ways of solving both these gaps. One of the solutions for the execution gap is Enterprise Decision Management (EDM) or simply Decision Management (DM).