Over recent months, I’ve read numerous articles that have reported that many executives are struggling with ‘Big Data’. In fact, many studies report that upwards of 50-60% of executives say that their firms are weak or struggling when it comes to capturing, analyzing and using the vast volumes of customer data that is within their reach.
Given these reports, I’ve started to wonder about the impact of these struggles and whether, or not, ‘Big Data’ could be a distraction to many firms, particularly when it is labelled a ‘strategic priority’.
Now, to some, that may sound like a heinous thing to say. I’m sorry. But, hear me out.
Before I start, however, let me clear about what I am not saying.
I’m not saying that the amount and type of customer data that is available to firms these days isn’t, potentially, important or very useful.
What I am suggesting, though, is that, if many executives are struggling with the new ‘data’ element of their roles, this big, extra demand on their time could be having a negative impact on their focus on other areas, particularly their focus on delivering a great service and experience to their customers?
Firms already have a lot to deal with these days if they are to be competitive and remain so:
Taking all of these things into account……more complexity, more work, new skills but a similar number of people to deliver…..Isn’t it only natural that if we add even more into the mix, i.e. harnessing the potential of ‘Big Data’, there is a risk that some things may slip?
We’re only human after all and we can only spin a certain number of plates at any one time.
Big data could be great and could offer huge rewards.
But, many businesses would benefit from asking themselves if the time and effort that they are devoting to their ‘Big Data’ projects is the best use of their skills and limited resources.
This post originally appeared on my Forbes.com column here.