For Big Data Innovators: Some Great New Small Data

The team at Big Data Republic and its partner SAP have released results of a survey to 200+ of their engaged enterprise community "to see how prepared organizations are to make use of big data in their operations."  The seven-page report has some strong detail, particularly about the healthcare, financial, and government sectors, pointing to the the limitations most enterprises still face as they get their heads, arms, and budgets wrapped around the possibilities of big data. This is the kind of report we love for entrepreneurs and innovators who are seeking to understand their market. If the big-data advance you're bringing to the world is promising "faster return of practical insight" as your value proposition, for example, you'd surely love to know that only 1.9% of the respondents would agree that your value proposition is how they define success.  The vast majority are still looking at "faster" as a deep horizon goal, grasping more immediately for the basics: cost savings, efficiencies, and just seeing what practical insights are there to be found. (See page 2.)

Or, if your company is questioning how much effort you should put into packaging professional services with your big-data product, it would help to know that only 9% said "we don't have the talent to make use of our data" is the biggest impediment holding them back -- and that number goes down to 6% among respondents who work in enterprises with 1,000 employees or more.  (See page 4.)

For me, the most helpful statistics come on pages 6 and 7, where the study covers how the C-suite is involved in big-data project decision making, how various market verticals believe they're doing, and how senior management perception of what's holding enterprises back differs from non-management perceptions.

What can you do when this kind of convenient study doesn't exist to give you market insight detail? Start asking questions. There's no substitute for talking to would-be buyers and users, from the C-level down to the lowest-level of end-user.  You don't need a formal survey of 200 respondents to start seeing patterns in the data. You don't need to be selling to have a conversation.