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Monday, May 30, 2016

Introducing the book "Big Data in Practice" by Bernard Marr

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A few days back, the LinkedIn influencer, best-selling author "Bernard Marr" released his latest book "Big Data in Practice" (From Big Data to Real Business Value: SMART Approach and 3 more use-cases). I received a copy of his book for an early read to understand his latest ideas about big data implementation strategies. In this book, Bernard Marr expresses his idea about the need for "Smart Data" instead of "Big Data".

The idea of this book is interesting as I have seen many of my clients using big data to store all the information at their disposal. If I have to make an honest assessment to say whether all the data stored in their warehouse is directly translating into insights and analytics, then the answer would be a big "NO". Organisations around the world are convinced that big data is essential for more meaningful insights and to understand the trends to come up with business strategies specific for customers from different segments.

Unfortunately, the term Big Data has been literally understood and the Organisations are racing towards storing whatever comes at their disposal. At times, their search for insights is as difficult as to search for a needle in a haystack. Having understood the need for smart data, Bernard Marr has discussed his framework that he calls as "SMART strategy board". This strategy board consists of 6 panels (read more about this in the book) that help you step back and ask the right questions about your data requirements that help your strategic needs.
"To reap the benefits of Big Data, you don’t have to collect everything and produce the biggest, most complex database in the world. The aim is actually the opposite — to get clear about the data you need and build the smallest, most straightforward database in the world." - Bernard Marr

Time to review your Big Data strategy

I strongly see the need to support your data requirements with a business objective. Data is considered as "valuable" (or "Smart" as Bernard calls) only if it is usable for the management to achieve business goals. This book emphasises the need to drive your Big Data initiatives backed up by business objectives and highlights three simple use cases of the big data that yields real business value.

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