In this book you will be introduced to big data: a revolution that will revolutionize how we live and work. Imagine the opportunities that are available with digital dashboards and handheld devices that can read our body heat and measure our speed. Which car paint color is best to tell you which vehicle is in top condition? How will traffic officials determine the most hazardous New York City streets before they explode? This exciting new paradigm is changing the way we interact with each other and with the world.
The authors of Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work and Think take a simplistic view of what this new methodology can do for organizations. Their core argument is that managers and leaders need to be able to interpret and act on big data. They acknowledge that there is potential for conflict over the use of this powerful information, but also believe that it can be a much-needed evolution for businesses moving forward. It presents some of the challenges associated with managing and using big data. The authors describe several strategies and business applications that managers and executives can use to address these issues.
Vital to Viktor Mayer-Schonberger’s arguments is the notion that traditional IT management and practices are causing companies to miss opportunities. He identifies six distinct areas where data is being wasted because managers and leaders are not properly using IT as part of their strategic processes. In essence, the current system and its processes are too limiting. Our generation of managers and leaders is wired differently from the generations before us. Our ability to think and process large amounts of data is just different. Organizations that embrace ratification will be able to realize their full business impact.
According to Viktor Mayer-Schonberger, traditional IT and business wisdom prevent people from using big data to improve business. He contends that most people do not understand the full implications and benefits that come from IT implementation. The fact that there is a lot of misunderstanding and hesitation prevents people from exploiting all the potentials that this technology offers. Mayer-Schonberger relates that one of the main reasons behind a reluctance is fear. Organizations are afraid of becoming dependent on IT, and they are afraid of losing control or not being able to retain employees and key personnel.
In light of these factors, many organizations have been reluctant to embrace big data. Mayer-Schonberger maintains that IT organizations should not be reluctant to embrace data science and embrace the value chain that comes with it. Instead, they should be eager to adopt IT automation and data science. This will allow them to easily extract value from data in a cost-effective way. IT organizations should think about the value chain and think about how data can help them optimize their business processes. They should not hesitate to implement tools that will enable them to manage their value chains.
However, Mayer Schwonberger cautions against the misuse of big data for the sake of efficiency alone. Datafication can help eliminate errors and streamline workflow. However, it does not address the core issues and concerns that are part and parcel of the IT organization. Mayer Schwonberger believes that managers must think about the value chain as well as about how IT and its tools can help to improve the performance and value of an organization. This approach will enable managers to get more value for their IT spending.
According to Viktor Mayer Schwonberger, big data makes it difficult to determine what a company is really worth. It becomes difficult to measure productivity. He believes that managers must consider three major concerns before investing in ratification tools. First, they should decide whether the tool is going to improve or deteriorate their business; second, they should understand the impact on their value chain; and third, they should understand the impact on their customers.
Today, many companies make the mistake of investing in technologies that do not solve key operational problems. They make the mistake of spending big money on tools and solutions and then wonder why productivity and profit margins do not improve. Mayer Schwonberger says that the best solution for such problems is to use big data analytics to understand the real value chains in any organization. He further states that managers should only invest in tools and solutions that are going to solve key operational and strategic problems.