Bill Schmarzo, author of “Big Data: Understanding How Data Powers Big Business” and “Big Data MBA: Driving Business Strategies with Data Science”, is responsible for setting strategy and defining the Big Data service offerings for Dell EMC’s Big Data Practice. As a CTO within Dell EMC’s 2,000+ person consulting organization, he works with organizations to identify where and how to start their big data journeys. He is a University of San Francisco School of Management (SOM) Executive Fellow where he teaches the “Big Data MBA” course.
Big Data is a term. The adjective ‘big’ has no meaning. Most companies are interested in looking at the ‘boat load of data’ they have but are not sure what to do with it. Right now, companies are only looking at the data to see ‘what happened’. “The biggest challenge from IT side and business side is to understand how they can understand data to effectively power their business model.”
Dell is using data to do predictive maintenance on their equipment. The goal is to fix devices before they break. They do this with employees and health care. “We try to drink our own champagne – use data internally, so we can be credible in the marketplace.”
Why have data if you aren’t going to use it? “Data by itself is a glob of nothing. You need to have an analytic strategy to tell what data is needed.”
Organizations need to know what problems they are trying to accomplish then can make analytics on those. If you know the problem to solve, you know the analytics and data you need. Then it becomes easy. Ask the questions first. Business has to drive IT. Data is a business conversation about economics. Then you can exploit the use of data.
There is a new position, the Chief Data Officer. It’s a good idea, but there has been poor execution. What has been happening is taking a CIO and giving them a new title of CDO. However, it should be the Chief Data Monetization Officer. The job is to determine how to monetize the data you have available. This should be an economics person rather than IT person.
Schmarzo’s advice for people who are thinking about big data?
Business people: Read his book written for business people. Also, check out his blog as he frequently blogs about big data. He recently wrote about how to become intelligent like Netflix.
Everyday people: You need to understand the basics. Start reading, attending the free online classes, read blogs. Begin to understand what is machine learning and AI is all about. Don’t be afraid; just spend 15 minutes a day to become more familiar.
What you will learn in this episode:
● Why the term Big Data is a misnomer
● How Dell is using data
● The ‘mindset’ of data
● Why big data is about economics, not technology
● How much of a CIO’s background should be in technology vs. business and economics
● What role data plays in AI, wearables and machine learning
Links from the episode: