Big Data and Analytics in Three Verbs

A new infographic and white paper summarizes a study performed by the IBM Institute for Business Value about how leading midsize businesses are converting big data and analytics into results using nine levers of differentiation. These levers collectively create an environment that supports the use of big data and analytics to solve meaningful business challenges. As shown above in a diagram from the white paper, these nine levers are organized into three levels of value impact, each described by a verb.


Leading midsize businesses use big data and analytics to enable better business outcomes, such as increasing the speed and accuracy of decisions, generating innovative ideas, and highlighting revenue opportunities. These organizations focus on the actions and decisions that generate the most business value. They do this by evaluating the impact that big data and analytics has on business outcomes by defining specific operational level metrics for each analytics effort. This feedback loop creates traceability from the decision to invest in big data and analytics to the better business outcomes it enabled, demonstrating return on investment. These quantified benefits enable these organizations to make the business case for architecting for the future by investing in data infrastructure as well as integrated capabilities delivered by hardware and software.


Leading midsize businesses have a data-driven culture that encourages the availability and use of big data and analytics. These organizations foster the expectation that strategic, tactical, and operational business decisions are based on data. In order for this to be possible, decision makers must have confidence in the data before they will use it to guide their actions. They must trust the completeness and accuracy of the data. Proactive data management practices must also protect the privacy and security of data, including having policies in place to protect sensitive data. Trust is needed, not only in the data, but also in the people using it, believing that others will do a competent job, deliver on promises, and support the organization’s best interests. This attitude helps make sharing data, relying on analysis, and investing hard-earned dollars possible. Leading organizations foster and nurture trustworthy relationships so that everyone is working toward a common goal and for the common good.


Leading midsize businesses amplify the value created from big data and analytics by using executive sponsorship to create a company-wide strategy and guide a common agenda across business units. These organizations instill financial rigor within a collaborative funding process for big data and analytics to support their investment in technology and skills. The majority of midsize businesses share analytics resources across the company in a bid to provide the broadest possible access to what is often a limited available pool of analytics expertise. However, by training their existing employees, who already possess the requisite business expertise, in analytics techniques, organizations grow internal analytics expertise. And as their analytics expertise grows, so does their opportunity to create even more business value from big data and analytics.

This post was brought to you by IBM for Midsize Business and opinions are my own. To read more on this topic, visit IBM’s Midsize Insider. Dedicated to providing businesses with expertise, solutions and tools that are specific to small and midsized companies, the Midsize Business program provides businesses with the materials and knowledge they need to become engines of a smarter planet.


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