MVP: Most Valuable Project

MVP: Most Valuable Project
Marty Ellingsworth –

Great news: You got some of that big data stuff, so now you’re a most valuable player in the majors, right? Not exactly and not yet.
The issue is what you do with voluminous data. Owning a modern Louisville Slugger is no guarantee of making it to first base. It’s how you swing it that counts. So how should you swing? Professional batters use swing analysis to improve their hitting. They break down the mechanics and identify the muscles and movement that can become more efficient and faster.
Likewise, owning big data means you might have some raw material from which you can draw insights. But you have to know how to use that material to help better understand your business and the market forces around it.

To get that benefit, you must change your operating model like batters change their swing mechanics and their approach at the plate to increase bat speed, hit longer drives, and strike out less. If business conditions change and you’re seeing more curve balls, you need to reassess your situation and be aware of what results you can expect from your next effort.

The big excitement comes when new pieces of information act as catalysts to break down a big challenge into smaller, more addressable situations.

Most companies can’t afford to assume the risks of expense and time for building a big data effort. Nor can they sustain the costs of a learning infrastructure that constantly looks to add more data and systems to better understand outcomes and performance. Many companies hire a consultant to help kick-start an internal effort. In those cases, results can be mixed and delivery may often fall short of expectations, or the project can experience scope creep during an engagement.

When enough consulting has been done to confirm a commonality or trend in the market, a product offering typically follows. Such solutions generally showcase bundled benchmarks and insights that can be customized further, as needed. If you can buy proven insights or, even better, flexible actionable solutions off the shelf, then you can move to implementation and “use it” even faster. Moving from knowing your data to using it is where you gain the most business value and where you can expect the real bang out of your “most valuable project.”

Check out the links below for more perspective on the various aspects of big data. The key to remember is the most valuable project takes time and work — just like refining a homerun swing. And having an experienced coach to guide the process can only expedite hitting the big data ball out of the park.

Big Data Glossary, Gartner
Pricing Is the Sweet Spot, Insurance Networking News
How ‘Big Data’ Is Different, Harvard Business Review
Big Data Executive Survey 2012, New Vantage Partners survey

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