I have yet to give my Strata and hadoop world update. I haven’t done so because as with any retailer, as we head into the holiday season, life gets really busy. In fact I am looking forward to the holiday season because of the wealth of information that can be gathered that is so unique for that point in time each year. I will say I am not a fan of stores opening up at 8pm or any time during Thanksgiving day, it just takes away from the fun of it all.
As I continue to talk with many companies, I find the dynamics around the teams companies are creating to be rather interesting. I have noticed that often a company will place a very large emphasis on one of the key areas, tech, analytics or business. Typically the tech wins if they build a hadoop cluster and since most of the leadership has no idea what to do with it, they let tech run the show. Or if BI steps ups, they will run the show. Very rarely will business actually run the show because still most business leaders have no clue what to do with big data.
As an actual business leader, I have set up my team in a very unique way compared to other companies. Sorry, I’m not going to tell you how it is set up. But I will tell you that a lot of what I see with other companies shows that a lot of work needs to be done for many companies to maximize their big data efforts.
Balance is the key as well as a strong understanding by the business of what the data is and can do. This means you need a strong business person on the team to drive these things. Too often, I have seen companies lack this. When someone calls me to recruit me it is either IT or analytics that is calling me. Almost never the business and as we talk, I see the gaps as analytics or IT plays to their strengths at the expense of the whole. You really need a three part team. Don’t ask someone to drive the business of big data and then get upset that they don’t want to spend their day programming in R.
Yes I know R but as the business owner of big data at a large company, I don’t have time to program much of anything at work. I’m really busy! In fact, if you are doing it right, your business owner of big data should be that busy that they really never program anymore. Now that doesn’t mean I don’t know how to read what I’m seeing. I stay current and up to date on the technology and analysis trends. That is the kind of person you need driving. But also you need to give the team the flexibility to do new things. Have enough structure to give them a direction but enough room to dream up new concepts. But first, you need to realize that big data will only work if you think in new ways around team organization.