Bursting at the seams
Lately, I’ve been thinking that business intelligence solutions are a lot like my garage. Stick with me. When my husband and I first moved from the city to the suburbs 7 years ago, we were really excited about our garage and all the space it had – not only for our cars, but also for the few “garage” items we owned: small gardening tools, a couple riding toys for our toddler, some lawn chairs, etc. We put up a couple wire racks to store these things and it worked perfectly – for a while. It wasn’t long before those shelves became overcrowded with more gardening tools, more toys (bigger ones), shovels, sports equipment, a lawn mower, you name it.
Over the years, we’ve been through a couple other storage “solutions,” that again, worked for a while, but quickly buckled under the pressure of more and more stuff. We had our second and third children, got more bikes, sprinklers, hoses, a snow blower, lacrosse sticks, hockey nets, soccer balls, a leaf blower… the list goes on. The clutter and the large items spilled over to the garage floor so we couldn’t fit our cars in there anymore. But, living in a Midwestern city with harsh winters, it’s important to us that we do fit our cars in the garage – at least during the winter months. We finally threw up our hands. After all the money we’ve spent on storage systems for our garage, we haven’t been able to keep up with our growing garage needs.
Still not getting the results we expect
This brings me back to my original point: my garage (and maybe yours?) is like many business intelligence implementations. Most companies (85 percent) have reported that despite years and years of investment in business intelligence solutions, they still don’t get the business results they expect. Like me with my garage, they built solutions that met their needs at a point in time. They didn’t know that mobile technologies and social media would one day propel data to grow beyond their wildest dreams, rendering their “complete view” of the customer not so complete. Just like I could not have foreseen that someday I would actually want a wheel barrow (now, how are we supposed to fit that in here?).
Oh, the possibilities!
We finally called in an expert garage organizer who came to our house, talked to us about our goals, looked at all our existing stuff, measured our garage, discussed our options and our budget. He described to us a modular solution that can easily expand with our growing interests – and growing kids. He’s got shelves, drawers, cabinets, baskets, hooks, pulley systems – more than we could ever have imagined. He created a short- and long-term plan for us with options to add additional storage and a variety of other novelties. He helped us anticipate future needs and see possibilities that we would never have dreamed on our own. We actually have empty shelves waiting for more toys and gardening tools!
Obviously, it’s an overly simplified comparison, but I think it translates to the world of Big Data and information management. The ever-growing need to analyze more and more data of different formats and structures requires a vision and strategy that the business and IT can get behind. You need to understand how your organization can achieve value from your data (imagine the possibilities) and what it takes to get there, including both long- and short-term plans. You need the right foundation, including master data management, metadata, information quality, and data integration processes. But you also need to master new capabilities, such as unstructured data integration, columnar and in-memory databases, and advanced analytics.
HP is the “garage” expert – for Big Data
As you attempt to get your Big Data garage in order, will you partner with an information management expert to help you do it? Creating information management and analytics solutions for today’s data challenges requires significant investments of time, resources, staff, and technology, with many of the required skills not yet fully developed in most organizations.
By partnering with a third-party firm, you get the value of their investments in training, collective expertise across different experiences, and their research and development discoveries. At a company like HP, you will find experts in all areas of Big Data management – from software and hardware to services – ready to help clients organize and govern their data.
Big Data Twitter Chat
Some of these experts will come together this summer to present a Twitter Chat series themed, Is Big Data the Big Daddy of IT Issues? They will present three one-hour Twitter Chats, starting with one titled, Foundational Competencies for Big Data, on Tuesday, June 19 at 12 p.m. CT. Join this Twitter Chat using the hashtag #HPESChat and get insights from HP practitioners who work on some of the most complex information challenges every day.
You can also find a collection of Big Data resources from HP at our Big Data Storify: http://bit.ly/KulwZt
Share your story
What does your data garage look like? Use the comments section below to share your stories about how Big Data is shaking up information management at your organization.