Hulk, the biggest, strongest, and greenest superhero, is tasked with helping entrepreneurs get the most out of the Big Data revolution.
We caught him between battles and talked about the coming challenge of Big Data and how it’s changing the way the world works.
Lucky for us he had changed back to mild mannered Dr. Bruce Banner, one of the key people working on the Ultron project. It was an easy conversation between Dr. Banner and me as we had worked on several top secret projects together in the past. I thought between Dr. Banner and The Hulk, we soon could help you master the most challenging villain, BIG DATA.
The first step in mastering Big Data is to understand that, by itself, Big Data is passive, not active in its most simple form. This doesn’t mean Big Data isn’t evolving at incredible speeds. Big Data takes advantage of many other key business trends. To master Big Data you must remember that its primary function today is to help you make better decisions. How it does it today is different than it will in the future.
So with this in mind, Dr. Banner shared his decision making process. Before I get several letters asking if we should really trust the man who would become the Hulk based on a bad decision, you just have to suspend your disbelief. He’s still batting over .500 on many of his more important decisions, and many women really dig the Hulk. So, let’s continue this discussion.
The second step in mastering Big Data is you must know what you want from Big Data. To do this effectively, Dr. Banner reminds me it comes down to the questions you ask when you begin looking at Big Data. When there is a large amount information to go through, you must create a great question that helps you focus on what you want from the data. In a future blog, I help you create the right kind of questions to help you bring what you need into focus.
The third step in mastering Big Data is to understand what is driving the decision you are trying to make. Having the key drivers identified at the beginning of your process helps you better understand what you are looking for in the information. I have found the better I understand what we want to achieve, the more likely we are to achieve it. When I take time to better understand my clients’ needs, challeges, and agendas, the more likelihood I have in finding the critical information they need for the best solution.
Dr. Banner is quick to point out, with significant energy, that the more you invest in smashing, I mean breaking, down the questions into smaller pieces, the more likely the data can provide a breakthrough solution. Now Hulk, you can put me back down. I think they see your point.
The fourth step in mastering Big Data is to determine how to measure your success. By understanding what your key performance measures are, you can more quickly filter the large volume of information that Big Data is currently producing. Dr. Banner is quick to point out that Big Data can provide a significant advantage only if it’s clear what we hope to achieve through this decision making process.
The fifth step in mastering Big Data is to understand where Big Data is coming from. The Hulk is quick to point out that all data isn’t created equal. Like the Hulk, who is constantly growing is strength and size, Big Data, or as he calls it bad data, can ruin even the best decision making process. If you hope to use Big Data more effectively, you must monitor where it’s coming from. You decisions can only be as good as the information you receive.
Finally, to master Big Data, you must understand what is missing. Let me elaborate what I mean. Much of the research being done on business focuses on two key markets; small business and larger organizations. If you wanted to understand how certain trends are impacting middle market and family businesses, you might come to a bad decision. To make good decisions, you must find a way to get additional information or decide to guess. Most successful entrepreneurs are risk averse; they love an edge in making critical decisions.
One of the biggest challenges I see is that many entrepreneurs are overwhelmed by Big Data and are not getting the right information to make a better decision. When I work with entrepreneurs, I find that most are very intuitive in their decision making processes. The problem is they are working off bad data. As Hulk would say, “Hulk smash bad data into good data by making leaders more aware of blind spots in their decision making process.”
The image comes from The Avengers Age of Ultron all copyrights held by Marvel. If you want to see the rest of the story you can see this great movie at theatres near you!
So, now that we’ve shared how to begin mastering big data, later this week we remember the first serving leader for many of us, Mom. See you then.