Big data: 3 steps to ensuring proper data collection

Big data: 3 steps to ensuring proper data collection


Published in :
Business strategies
Artificial intelligence
Published on 18 February 2019
Reading: 3 minutes

Big data: 3 steps to ensuring proper data collection

It’s not enough to just gather data—you need to be able to transform them into an analysis that will help your decision making. To take advantage of big data, and stimulate your SME’s growth, you need a systematic approach. Here’s how to get started!


1) Determine your business objectives and informational needs

When deploying a technological initiative, it’s sometimes better to adopt a step-by-step approach. To get your SME’s data collection off to a good start, choose a maximum of three items to measure during this initial phase. To make the right choices, refer to your strategic plan. The goals you should be prioritizing—whether it’s to develop the U.S. market or launch a new product, for example—should obviously be specified from the start.  

Questions will then arise in connection with your identified objectives. What do you want to analyze and why? What analyses are the most pertinent to or have higher priority for your SME? Finally, what will the effects be of these analyses?

The first step therefore remains to determine your business objectives and informational needs in order to decide what data you should collect and analyze. However, you should know that you’ll need to exercise a certain amount of patience before you can cross the finish line. Adopting a big data approach requires certain transformations to your business, notably to your business processes and information technology.


2) Determine what needs to be put in place to respond to your needs

Once you’ve determined the data you would like to collect, you need to think about how to collect them. Remember that you need to process data and ensure they are eventually presented in a format your analysts can make use of.

Take time to consider the options available before investing a huge amount of money in a solution that could turn out to be too complicated. You can always improve your methods later as your company grows. Will the layout of a particular dashboard allow you to easily browse the data? Could some specialized software become an indispensable tool for collecting data?

There are other considerations to keep in mind during this step. Big data requires complex infrastructure anchored in computational, data storage and communications resources. You should expect that the effects on and changes to your current base of installed systems will be anything but negligible.



3) Evaluate set-up costs and available resources

You’ve established that you want to use big data to spur growth. But have you correctly considered the costs associated with this kind of initiative? Considering the many stages in the big data life cycle, from identifying your data sources to their final use, the cost of collection and processing sometimes surprises people.

This is an initiative that will certainly generate a need for additional training. You should expect to establish a plan to help your employees develop the skills needed to execute their new mandates. You could also opt to go with a firm that specializes in this field to ensure the successful deployment of your big data initiative and the training of your teams in this area.

Whatever route you decide to take, meticulous preparation is necessary to take advantage of this latest technological revolution. Considering the size of the investment necessary, company leaders need to take part in the process and demonstrate support for the efforts made by the team responsible for the project. According to Boston Consulting Group (BCG), high-performing companies in the digital arena generally invest at least 5% in operational costs and assign at least 10% of their personnel to related tasks.  

In a recent report, PWC states, “It’s not enough to gather data. You have to transform them into analyses that can improve your customer experience. For example, a chat bot can provide around-the-clock service and expose obstacles that prevent consumers from making a purchase.” The good news? This investment will bear fruit the moment you are able to improve your decision-making process after analyzing the data you’ve collected.