Without Big Insight, Big Data Is Useless

Big data is often heralded as a transformative force that will usher in a new era of data-driven decision making for executives and business managers. However, many enterprises are finding themselves drowning in data, but with no better insight into the issues confronting their businesses, according to new report from Forrester Inc.

The report, titled EUDigital Insights are the New Currency of Business,EU was written by Forrester analysts Ted Schadler and Brian Hopkins. It analyzed the behaviors of dozens of industry incumbents along with hundreds of startups to determine which organizations are taking the most advantage of big dataEUs potential, and what their secrets are.

Starving for Insight

The firms that are most successful in leveraging the mountains of data gathered by big data applications use a combination of people, processes and technologies to systematically analyze their data sets, according to Schadler and Hopkins.

EUTo harness the power of all your data to attract and serve customers -- to be a digital business -- you also need a new way of consistently harnessing insights that matter: insights teams using an insights-to-execution process anchored by a new digital insights architecture,EU Schadler wrote on his blog.

In particular, the reportEUs authors found that successful firms go beyond big data and business intelligence practices to build the business discipline and technology to harness insights and convert their data sets into action. The approach works by linking business actions back to data and discovering and testing insights, before taking action.

The Five Secrets to Insight

The companies that are able to extract the best intelligence from their data sets are those that engage in five essential practices, according to the report.

Specifically, they combine business, technology, and data expertise with small teams led by business leaders and domain experts; they test and implement digital insights in software systems, business...

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