Data Management

09:30 AM
Julio Gómez
Julio Gómez
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Big Data DIY

Now that we have passed the initial hype phase of big data, companies are searching for real business value from their investments. Consultants can play a part, but only if financial firms insist on a new partnership model.

The Big Data party is not a one-night-only event. It’s more of a BigDataPalooza. But the first night is over, and there are some wicked hangovers to deal with. But hey, drink lots of water, down some ibuprofen, and sleep it off, because we are definitely going again hard tonight.

The cynics say that the first night of BigDataPalooza was more about padding resumes with big-data credentials than about delivering business value -- and they’re right. At least in terms of where the biggest impact has been.

[For more on how companies are approaching big-data implementations, read: Understanding the Value of Big Data].

Many upwardly mobile (aren’t we all?) execs are shrewd to see an opportunity to get out in front of a parade. You can’t blame them. But now that big-data initiatives are being viewed in the light of day, what lessons learned can we build on, and what will help firms get to the next level of extracting value from emerging big-data technologies?

Big-data tools -- we need them, of course. But we really need big-data tool “masters,” the experts who know how to use data, manipulate it, and run the latest big-data technologies. Here’s the hypothesis: If there were an available resource of experts in the use of big-data tools available in the way Home Depot experts are available for homeowner projects, firms could focus on DIY big data a lot more easily and efficiently. But why do companies want to do big data DIY?

There are many consulting firms anxious to do big data for you. But that’s a fool’s errand. If big data is strategic, then handing over the project and waiting a year for results is like living last night’s party over again -- a bad idea. Here’s what banks need, and consulting firms should provide (especially the ones that have a lot of valuable, multi-firm, multi-use-case experience): a place where Bank IT leaders can get “hands-on,” and have big data DIY enabled -- with supervision and direction.

We need a clean, well-lighted place where industry innovators can get the advice and guidance they need to take these disruptive technologies and translate them into game-changing business value -- while still getting their hands dirty. Consultants should help banks assess their acquired big-data capabilities, understand their aspirations and limitations, help them pick the tools and partners they need to achieve their vision, and train them on the tools so they can be productive fast. The result: strategic-capability development at banks, a new partnership model with consultants, and (ahem) a few good lines on the resume.

Julio Gómez is Industry Strategy Partner for Knowledgent, where he leads efforts to help global financial services enterprises solve their most difficult data problems to power game-changing solutions. Time Magazine listed him among the "Fifty Most Influential People ... View Full Bio
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User Rank: Author
7/31/2014 | 6:04:53 PM
Big Data Apprentice Program?
Julio,  I've never been to a big data party or a big data Palooza, but I wish I could be a fly on the wall. (Though I would like to skip the hangover and ibuprophen.) All kidding aside, one of your main points is that big data is not a one-time, quick event and that firms need help to learn to use the tools. The answer is not hiring big data "masters" but learning how to use the tools themselves by partnering with consultants. It sounds like you feel the industry needs a different type of consultant - more like the Home Depot hands-on type of experts. By studying under a master, sorst of like an apprentice program, FSIs can be trained on the big data skills. Is this what you mean?
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