There are numerous assumptions made about business analytics by companies/organizations that don’t reflect reality. Among the most common: New platforms will integrate easily with existing systems, outputs will provide clear directives on what a business should do next, and people across the organization will embrace the use of data and analytics. Unfortunately, these misconceptions can lead to frustration and derail a project before it has a chance to succeed. Here are some common pitfalls of analytics initiatives, along with suggestions on how to avoid falling victim to these mistakes.
6 Challenges to Implementing Big Data and Analytics
Big data is usually defined in terms of the “3Vs”: data that has large volume, velocity, and variety. Organizations dealing with big data are ones that generate – or consume – a constant stream of data from multiple sources that needs to be stored, processed, and managed on an ongoing basis. And as big data becomes an ever more essential part of the business toolbox, firms that aren’t comfortable employing it may be put at a disadvantage when it comes to understanding their customers, entering new markets, and troubleshooting their own internal processes. But even as more and more companies accept the need to tackle big data, many fail to realize the extensive training, organizational impacts, and legal implications that come with big data and analytics.
Here are six common challenges companies normally face for big data and analytics problems that businesses run into:
- Data Science Skills Gap: Technology has outpaced talent, leaving many businesses struggling to make use of the analytics tools they’ve purchased. Software vendors may tout user-friendly interfaces, but a trained data scientist, and in many cases an entire team of them, can be an invaluable – or even necessary – addition to your team. If you don’t have headcount for a data scientist or if you want to supplement your existing team, it can be useful to leveraging outside resources.
- Organizational Change: In order to really harness the value of data insights, businesses need to be ready to make a dramatic shift in every department, from top leadership to sales to recruiting. Employees at every level need to be trained to basic competency on using and understanding analytics tools, and some ought to receive more advanced training.
- Data Security: Security is a big concern for companies with huge quantities of data that they don’t want released. When it comes to collecting data, privacy laws differ greatly between politico-geographic areas and are applied differently depending on data type and quantity. A data breach can leave companies and their clients open to identity theft, liability, and loss of competitive information, so security is obviously a big challenge that needs to be taken seriously.
- Effective Interpretation: Many companies struggle to make effective use of insights gained from massive amounts of data. Analytics are not definitive, and a significant amount of knowledge and interpretation goes into turning insights into actionable business solutions.
- Data Management: Where will you store your data? How will you determine if your data is accurate? How do you keep it consistent across the organization? Will it be compatible with software tools and processes that you already use? These are questions that will need to be answered on an ongoing basis once big data and analytics become a part of your business model.
- Lack of support: Once an analytics tool is rolled out, many companies don’t have the support in place to reap all of the benefits.
5 Solutions to Overcoming Companies Big Data & Analytics Challenges