Monday, June 12, 2017

On Big Data

By Pascal Dennis (bio)

Big data is all the rage these days. Big consulting houses and IT touts assure us that the next big breakthrough is just around the corner.

And all we need is self-appointed experts and super computers that crunch through all our ‘data’ and make sense of everything for us.

Don’t’ want to be misunderstood. There is a place for experts and for super computers, and the wise are always open to new thinking.

But do we really believe that Big Data is going to solve our problems?

Do we even understand our ‘small data’? In other words, do we understand our current condition? Stuff like:

  • Purpose
  • Core metrics
    • Targets versus Actual
    • Trends & patterns
  • Top 3 acute problems
  • Top 3 chronic problems
  • Degree of engagement of our teams
  • Problem solving capability of our teams
  • Overall capability of our team members
  • Capability of our machines & equipment
  • Capability of our processes

And these questions, of course, apply at each level of our management system from Level 1 – front line on up.

Comparatively few organizations can answer these questions in the affirmative.

Truth be told, many (most?) organizations flounder about in the fog of Big Company Disease [The Remedy], no?

It’s not incompetence or ill will. It is the nature of large organizations, organisms that are still comparative newcomers to the human scene.

It takes great skill and tenacity to disperse the fog, and keep it from seeping back in. Companies that thereby understand their ‘small data’ are akin to the one-eyed man in the kingdom of the blind.

So before we grasp at the straws of Big Data, let’s build our management systems so we can understand our ‘small data’ – like the world’s best organizations do.



No comments:

Post a Comment