Creating business value from Big Data and business analytics: organizational, managerial and human resource implications
This paper reports on a research project, funded by the EPSRC’s NEMODE (New Economic Models in the Digital Economy, Network+) programme, explores how organizations create value from their increasingly Big Data and the challenges they face in doing so. Three case studies are reported of large organizations with a formal business analytics group and data volumes that can be considered to be ‘big’. The case organizations are MobCo, a mobile telecoms operator, MediaCo, a television broadcaster, and CityTrans, a provider of transport services to a major city. Analysis of the cases is structured around a framework in which data and value creation are mediated by the organization’s business analytics capability. This capability is then studied through a sociotechnical lens of organization/management, process, people, and technology.
From the cases twenty key findings are identified.
In the area of data and value creation these are:
1. Ensure data quality, 2. Build trust and permissions platforms, 3. Provide adequate anonymization, 4. Share value with data originators, 5. Create value through data partnerships, 6. Create public as well as private value, 7. Monitor and plan for changes in legislation and regulation.
In organization and management:
8. Build a corporate analytics strategy, 9. Plan for organizational and cultural change, 10. Build deep domain knowledge, 11. Structure the analytics team carefully, 12. Partner with academic institutions, 13. Create an ethics approval process, 14. Make analytics projects agile, 15. Explore and exploit in analytics projects.
16. Use visualization as story-telling, 17. Be agnostic about technology while the landscape is uncertain (i.e., maintain a focus on value).
In people and tools:
18. Data scientist personal attributes (curious, problem focused), 19. Data scientist as ‘bricoleur’, 20. Data scientist acquisition and retention through challenging work.
With regards to what organizations should do if they want to create value from their data the paper further proposes: a model of the analytics eco-system that places the business analytics function in a broad organizational context; and a process model for analytics implementation together with a six-stage maturity model.