In order for Big Data to gain relevance and value for the enterprise, data scientists and DevOps folks (you know, “Them”) need to play nicely with each other. Not only that, the IT function in the enterprise must learn to play with every other team in the enterprise, including business folks (“Us”).
A nice little fairy tale, huh? How pervasive is “Us versus Them” mindset within your own corporate culture?
The industrial IoT (Internet of Things) ecosystem exerts tremendous pressure on organizations to change.
How we work together, how organizations are modeled, how we make decisions are impacted by far too much data generated from IoT connected devices. No one single person (or enterprise) can deal with all the data.
Enlightened enterprises are learning to more fully flex the breadth and depth of insights derived from Big Data, predictive analytics and cross-functional team collaboration. The “Us” part of the enterprise is partnering with “Them” to create a more insight-driven organization.
Your outcome? Becoming more proactive and anticipatory about “What’s Next?” for the enterprise. Otherwise your organization is continuously reacting, asking each other “What just happened?”
Action Item: They key to moving forward is deciding to take action. Why don’t you get a bunch of “Us” and starting talking to “Them”? Take action! Use the collaboration hacks in my book “Do You Mean Business” to get started.
Create the workforce bandwidth to interpret strategic and tactical implications from Big Data relevance, predictive analytics and end user context.
Do the data folks remain sequestered in your organization along with the rest of “Them” – all of the other data folks? Who else do they need to be speaking with, learning from and collaborating with?
Similarly, do the business, sales and marketing folks (“Us”) remain voluntarily separated from the data, IT and operations folks because biz peeps choose to not understand the significance of what “They” are doing?
If either of these two scenarios strikes a chord with you, the problem isn’t Big Data relevance. Big Data cannot gain any meaningful relevance until and unless the enterprise:
- Injects data analytics as a strategic priority for its cultural DNA and business practices;
- Develops a workforce hiring strategy focused on acquiring and developing individuals receptive to learning how to use data while working cross-functionally; and
- Takes action based on what is learned from data-driven, collaborative, fully vetted team insights.
Data analytics without a solid understanding of user context is meaningless. Not taking action from what is learned from analytics and user context observations is tragic.
Are you going to become participants in gaining insights from Big Data relevance or will you remain confined within teams of corporate spectators? Your choice.
Perhaps you need a catalyst to jog you out of decision paralysis?
OK, so catchy title, Babette. Where does Chicken Little fit into the picture?
Chicken Little, or Henny Penny, is a folk tale about a chick who believes the world is coming to an end because an acorn fell on its head. The phrase “The sky is falling!” is repeated throughout the tale and has become an English language phrase indicating a mistaken belief about impending disaster.
Chicken Little created a lot of unnecessary drama. Chicken Little was not able to benefit from collaborative discussions about implications from data-driven trends and qualitative observations. You, on the other hand, can benefit.
Depending on where everyone sits around the business table, they see the same things, differently. They observe those acorns falling, differently.
How does your organization capture and benefit from these perceived differences? The first step to move yourself forward is to stop reacting to perceived differences. Consider them. Collaborate about them. Benefit from them.
Big Data relevance is acquired when the right people ask the right questions and create the right data set for analysis with the right analytics tools.
Let’s face it. Chicken Little didn’t have the right people onboard and no one asked the right questions. Ever.
Who in your organization must become involved in the Big Data and digital transformation conversation?
Big data relevance requires a corporate culture which takes a qualitative and quantitative approach to execution of strategy.
Data analyses without user context is meaningless. One acorn dropping is not significant. It represents one observation. One data point. Where is the rest of the data to support the conclusion that the sky is falling?
Chicken Little’s tale that the sky is falling got more fantastic with each re-telling. No one doubted the story in the first place or subjected the details to their own observations.
A corporate culture which creates a sandbox environment for cross functional collaboration gains a competitive advantage. Giving your teams permission to “not know the right answer” or “not understand what the heck the other person is saying” works wonders for extracting valuable insights about Big Data relevance. Allowing teams to obtain qualitative insights from observing and interviewing internal and external customers throughout your organization provides relevant context for Big Data.
Is it time for your organization to create those collaborative sandboxes?
Liberating Big Data into relevant insights creates a proactive enterprise.
Big data and predictive analytics have implications which flow across the enterprise. How your organization collaborates cross-functionally with data scientists, DevOps and all of the other folks you avoid working with today becomes your competitive difference, tomorrow.
Are you working together or perpetuating legacy Us versus Them mindset? Do your teams strive to seek common grounds for understanding? Alternatively, does the language of professional disciplines form barriers because no one understands what the other person is saying to them?
Become proactive or remain reactive. Your choice.
However, rest assured that the relentless pace of technology advances courtesy of the industrial Internet of Things waits for no one to play catch up. So complacency is not a logical strategic business option.
Those acorns are going to keep falling on your head until and unless you have the sense to get out from underneath that legacy corporate cultural tree.
Babette Ten Haken writes, speaks and coaches about customer success for customer retention. She traverses the interface between human capital strategy for hiring and developing collaborative technical and non-technical teams. She serves manufacturing, IT and engineering intensive companies. Babette’s playbook of technical / non-technical collaboration hacks, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon. Image author: Ion Chiosea. Image source: Fotolia