Big data for startups is often a maligned idea. Surely, it’s the preserve of big business? Well, no! Start-ups and newly formed businesses can benefit from big data as much as any.
Big data may have once been the preserve of big businesses, however that’s dramatically changed thanks to huge amounts of information, great software and ever increasing computing power. So, here’s what everyone from a new limited company formation with a few employees to an old one with dozens should think about before going down the big data path.
Do You Really Need Big Data?
Big data has become something of a buzzword in the past few years, and it can be a powerful analytical tool when it's employed correctly. Before you plunge into the potentially-expensive world of big number crunching, though, step back and ask yourself if your company really needs big data capabilities to move forward. It's especially risky for start ups to start using technology for technology's sake; make sure you have a genuine need for big data capabilities.
Understand The Field
In the already fast-paced world of information technology, big data is one of the most quickly-evolving sub-disciplines. The cutting edge advances at a furious pace, and techniques and theories tend to become outdated within months. Keeping a handle on the pace of change requires the services of experts. These are professionals who may present themselves as chief data officers, data miners, or data scientists. These experts can research, develop, and deliver the big data solutions your company needs, but their services definitely come at a cost. To implement big data technology and then keep it up to date is a significant expense. A big data system isn't a one-time expense, either; it needs to be maintained and updated constantly to remain useful. You need to make sure that investing in a big data project will deliver a significant return and give you a clear advantage over your competitors.
Start Off Small
Contrary to its name, big data doesn't necessarily imply a big operation. Too many startups invest too heavily in narrow technological resources. This leaves them strapped for cash when the time comes to diversify or refocus. Use your assets wisely by starting off your big data explorations on a small scale. With expert assistance, you can make plans for fast expansion if it becomes necessary in the future. Keeping your initial investment modest will also be a learning experience that shows you what role big data can play in your company.
Get Ready To Get Patient
For all of its rapid evolution, big data is not an overnight game-changer. According to Gartner studies, while 73 percent of firms surveyed were making plans to invest in big data, only 13 percent of them had bid data operations up and running. Designing and deploying a big data project is a complex operation, and rushing it can compromise its value. You should be laying out your big data calendar with expected payoffs years in the future, not months.
Big Data = Three Vs + One C
The standard way of defining big data is that it involves handling information in large volume, at high velocity, and in many varieties. Big Data methods are called for only when your organization is facing challenges in all three of these areas. You need to have a mountain of data to sift through, it needs to be flowing in fast, and it needs to come in different formats. Combining the three Vs of big data produces the C: complexity. Big data is an appropriate tool for achieving challenging analytic goals that you can't reach in any other way. As long as you keep these principles in mind, you should be in a position to make sensible decisions about building a big data project for your start up.
These considerations should be taken into account when considering a big data effort - so use the above as a guide.