When big data was hyped as the next technology set to transform the business world many organizations began to collect as much of it as they could lay their hands on. Data centers proliferated as companies sucked in data points from customer interactions, supply chain partners, mobile devices and many, many other sources.
It looked as though enterprises had jumped on board with the idea of big data, but what they were actually doing was hoarding information. Very few had any idea about how to unlock the insights contained within. Businesses that saw the value and pioneered analytics are beginning to see a major return on their investment.
In a global, cross-industry McKinsey survey of 530 C-level execs and senior managers, almost half said that data and analytics have significantly or fundamentally changed business practices in their sales and marketing functions, and more than a third said the same about R&D. Big data can have a major beneficial impact, but realizing those potential benefits requires a winning strategy.