I follow a number of LinkedIn groups that discuss data analysis and big data topics and find it interesting that these groups are mainly dominated by analysts, vendors, consultants, and integrators. I’ve noticed that the companies and people who actually perform data analysis and have big data are often missing from the conversation. One of the reasons that users are missing from these discussions is that they are too busy doing their jobs. Another might be that they do not directly benefit from many of the debates that ensue over how much data volume, what degree of data variety, and how much data velocity is necessary to qualify as “big data analysis”.
We’ve spent the last seven months in an exhaustive market research effort to understand what exactly it is that business managers need in the way of data analysis. The simple answer is that business managers only care about the volume, variety, and velocity of their data. Big or small we have repeatedly heard that what they are seeking the most are answers to the questions that need to be answered. They don’t care about the underlying technology required to reach an answer and they don’t care whether the data required to reach an answer is structured or unstructured. They do care about having answers to the questions they know to ask. Because they know how to make decisions based on those answers and they know what actions to take as a result.
The companies we’ve spoken with care about analysis of the data that can help them answer the questions they have, when they need the answers, for the data they think is important. We’re applying this feedback to Insights On Demand by offering pre-built Insights that answer very specific business objectives. Our customers choose which Insights are important to them, they determine which data is relevant based on guidance from us, and they run Insights as frequently as it makes sense for their needs. Sometimes this means that the data encompasses a global operation, other times it’s only one or two geographies. Sometimes our customers run only a single Insight, other times it’s multiple Insights. And sometimes, daily analysis makes sense while other times our customers only need monthly analysis. Regardless of the requirements, customers should only pay for what they need.