In Perfect Harmony: Making the big data advantage work

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6 Tips for Big Data Harmony

1. Get buy-in from IT

It’s essential to get buy-in from IT and then empower them to reorganize how the organization collects, stores and governs access to data to ensure it’s accessible across the enterprise.

2. Commit to creating a sharing culture

Develop an organizational culture that promotes the sharing of data. Data analysts want to work in an organization that recognizes the value of their efforts across the enterprise, and sales executives want to work in an organization where they have access to data that will support their success.

3. Anticipate disruption

Connect_MarApr2017_web-9Implementing a sharing culture is likely to ruffle some feathers given people’s tendency to hoard information. It also has the potential to create jurisdictional tensions between sales and marketing. Make sure your sales and marketing teams sit down with your IT lead to map out who will do what and how they’ll share business intelligence to avoid duplication of effort.

4. Tinker

Most cloud-based analytics vendors offer free trial subscriptions and an abundance of online training. Ask your resident Excel gurus to sign up for a few and begin learning about what’s out there, what it can do and how much it costs.

5. Recruit for the future

Regardless of where your company is with analytics, sales and marketing managers should expand their talent search to candidates with strong backgrounds in math, statistics and business analysis.

6. Be ready to invest

For sales and marketing departments, harnessing Big Data is not about cutting costs through automation. It’s about making substantial investments in people and technology in a bid to keep up with or overtake the competition. It requires hiring analysts who can pull and organize data, write or use programs to analyze the data and create graphics to visualize the data so it can be shared. These analysts typically have backgrounds in mathematics, statistics and computer programming and they don’t come cheap. There also is the cost of training sales reps and other front-line employees on how to use whatever tools you deploy.


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Featured in Connect Magazine, March/April 2017.

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