Crown Computing Commissions Study into the Age of Big Data
Relevance, reliability and usability are the key to obtaining prime business intelligence in the age of “big data”, a new study has found.
Crown Computing, a leader in the development and supply of workforce management solutions invited Dr Pietro Micheli, Associate Professor of Organisational Performance at the University of Warwick Business School, to deliver the thought leadership insight into the “Factors for Success”.
This has been turned into an online resource for HR and business analysts – a taster version of which can be seen here.
Dr Micheli highlights how the business world has undergone transformation in recent years due to the amount of digital information available. These come from a variety of different sources: inside the organisation, customer records and the wider business environment, he said.
There has been a massive boon as automation has reduced errors and increased the speed of which reports can be generated. Company records and customer feedback mechanisms are ideal data streams to inform forecasting and reviews, he stated. This insight can inform the organisation and highlight emerging trends in areas such as consumer behaviour. For example, the type of goods a customer may regularly buy in a retail outlet or traffic flow on an arterial road.
Internal records can also help a company assess its workforce capability and performance, ensuring that the organisation has a lean management approach and is responsive to changing needs.
However, the flipside to this, is a dearth of data which can generate “noise” without focus or consistency, said Dr Micheli.
“What we have done is to really think about the three things that are fundamental and to try to exploit big data in the best possible way. The first is relevance, whether the data is related to what is important to us. The second is reliability, whether the data is robust and can be trusted. The third is usability, whether the data is actually being used or not and whether we are creating value to our customers,” he said.
The collection of this information has linked into the usability of the technology systems in place to gather information of real value. The timeliness in gathering the data, asessing it and taking action are crucial if it is to help the organisation improve its understanding and move forward, he said.
Dr Micheli also highlighted the importance of communicating the findings in a way most appropriate to the audience which receives it and has to act upon it. The use of charts and graphics to illustrate comparative data can be useful, he added.
“Big data is here to stay,” Dr Micheli concluded. “But we have to be careful what we do and to have data and information instead of noise. The vital elements to this process are to ensure that the information that we collect is relevant, reliable and usable.”
David Hughes, Head of Marketing at Crown Computing said: “The work that Dr Micheli undertook on our behalf has provided a fascinating insight into how we can make information work for us and how we can best use our technology systems like those developed at Crown to support an organisation’s business planning and inform its objectives.
“We are delighted to have produced this into an insightful film which is available on our website. This sums up the essential approach to managing information and using it to shape, develop and grow a successful organisation.”