Everyone is enthusiastic about the flow of insight that will be unleashed by big data and the internet of things. CEOs look forward to new strategic and competitive insights. Sales and marketing managers can’t wait for the precision they’ll see in measuring where, when, and why new product or service rollouts are succeeding. Investors are seeing new opportunities, new ideas, and innovations by the dozen.
Even better, this influx of opportunity is coming at a time when the enterprise is ready. It’s becoming quickly digitalized. Clouds are rolling in from all directions, bringing IT independence to LOB (line-of-business) managers, finance managers, and all others. It’s a type of digital democratization, and it extends all the way to the analysts—now called citizen analysts—who are starting to mine some of that IoT data.
Gartner was on target when, in 2015, it predicted that by 2017 most organizations’ business users and analysts “will have access to self-service tools to prepare data for analysis.” The data is coming, and it’s ready for mining.
But as a business unit manager, are you ready? No one should blame you if you’re less than enthusiastic. The job of actually pulling meaning from the coming torrents will be far from simple, and success far from guaranteed. As Gartner’s VP Rita Sallam said, “Data preparation is one of most difficult and time-consuming challenges facing business users of BI and data discovery tools, as well as advanced analytics platforms.”