Business Must Address Big Data Knowledge Gaps
Think of big data as tidal wave that has only begun to crash. A majority of worldwide executives say the effective analysis of corporate data is important, and this sentiment will dramatically increase within five years, according to a recent big data survey sponsored by the American Management Association. Currently, the game plan depends primarily on increasing training and other programs to bring current, in-house staffers up to speed. The IT department, of course, will play a major role. However, the accompanying report also focuses on knowledge gaps that exist within all levels of today's organizations—gaps that must be addressed. "Staff in every function need to be savvy when it comes to analytics," says Robert Smith, a senior vice president at AMA. "Professionals at all levels have to know what questions to ask and how to make wise choices based on data." For best practices to expand the use of big data analytics, the AMA suggests that organizations conduct top-to-bottom skills assessments and then invest in training (including internal team-based cross-training). Enterprises also should review existing systems to ensure that they can handle the storage and are accessible enough for easy data retrieval. And they have to boost their capabilities to produce actionable "decision-making data." Nearly 790 global executive leaders took part in the research.