There’s no denying the role that big data plays within almost every enterprise today. From retailers working to better understand their in-store shoppers to manufacturers striving to streamline production, businesses within every industry are working to see just how big data can improve their workflows and decision-making processes. Recent research also confirms this widespread adoption:


  • The cloud-based business intelligence (BI) market is set to grow from $750 million in 2013 to $2.94 in 2018—a CAGR of 31 percent—and the mobile and social BI markets are also slated for year-over-year growth (source).
  • Global spending on big data hardware and software is expected to grow at an incredible CAGR of 30 percent through 2018, resulting in a $114 billion market (source).


Given the above numbers, it’s hard to believe that some execs are still wary about big data. If you are working to warm your boss up to the promise of big data, consider the following tips for getting him or her on board:


Your competitors are all in: As if the above research isn’t a solid enough indicator of just how many companies—including your competitors—are embracing big data for achieving a number of strategic objectives, business analytics was recently listed as a top area of IT spending for 2015 among top IT execs. Although these numbers are compelling, remember that your pitch shouldn’t be a game of numbers; use your judgment wisely when choosing which statistics to share to make your case.


Become more of an industry game-changer: Research shows that those business leaders characterized as “laggards” focus only on technology rather than optimizing its use to make actionable business decisions and improvements. Conversely, those described as being influential and collaborative leverage, and get the most value from, BI and data analytics. If an organizational goal involves being better-positioned as an influencer or industry leader, big data is a surefire way for doing so.


Provide actionable use cases: It’s not enough to simply say your competitors are all in. Prove the real staying power of big data by showing your boss just how it has been used by companies similar to yours. For example, how did one company take the data at its disposal and optimize it to gain a more holistic view of its customer base?


Come to the table with an action plan, proving it can work: Similarly, solely pointing out what your competitors are doing right (and by comparison, what your organization is doing wrong) won’t leave a good taste in your boss’s mouth. So, provide an action plan mapping out your steps for the weeks ahead, illustrating to your boss exactly how your company’s big data strategy will be executed. For example, your plan should include when and how you will begin collecting data and from what channels.


You don’t need to go it alone: Some execs may see the business value of big data but lack the stamina or time to commit to overseeing the strategy in-house. Assure your boss that a big data strategy never has to be done independently, but can be shared with a trusted IT vendor, which can assign a team of expert business intelligence analysts for support.


Picture yourself getting ready to walk into your manager’s office. You have only so many minutes to sell him or her on the concept of big data. You have one shot … are you going to knock your pitch out of the park?



Mark: please link to Performance Improvement: Why Manufacturers Must Step Up Big Data and Mobility Efforts here once posted.