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Article Blog Featured - Blog General March 31, 2015 3 minute read

Maximizing Big Data Outcomes Requires Big, Whole-Brain Approach

Data management has significantly changed in a very short time. In 2015, Saama sees Big Data as a business that creates value; it is no longer simply a channel that drives activities.

Right Brain or Left Brain?

Do you remember when we used to take tests that told us if we were more likely a right or left brain person? The test was meant to be a way to determine your natural dominance in the way you process information. A left brain thinker was thought to be more logical, analytical, and objective, while a right brain thinker was characterized as more intuitive, thoughtful, and subjective.

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Over the past decade, the data industry has made solid progress in how we store, access, organize, aggregate, cleanse, model, represent, and finally, how we visualize data. We moved away from arcane, standalone Decision Support Systems and boldly moved into the world of Business Intelligence with fancy DWs, DMs and BI systems.

Where We Were: Left Brain Thinking

If you look back, business intelligence or small data gave us insights about yesterday, last week, last month, last year, and so on. While we went through this data journey, we brought in disciplines to eliminate manual processes or aggressively enhance the ETL, Reporting and Dashboarding capabilities.

In a way, we were left brain thinkers. Not just the work of the developer, but also the business user was left brain-oriented: linear, accurate, order, logic, detail, control, process, protect, categorize, familiar, realistic, schedule and test results. This way of using data let us know where we had been in the past and what had worked and what had not.

Where We’re Going: Right Brain Thinking

In 2015, with the evolution of Big Data and data taking center stage along with advanced analytics, business owners can now know insights about today, tomorrow, next quarter, and next year. Today, and into the next decade, we are innovating the next generation of analytics systems by incorporating small and Big Data. I consider this to be the incorporation of right brain work: creativity, intuition, spirit, passion, holistic thinking, imagination, art, poetry, sense, feel, taste, movement, vivid colors, brainstorming, experience, visualization, fluidity.

This way of using data can tell us where we might go, and more importantly, the best way to get there.

We are living in extraordinary times as we continue to innovate rapidly to keep up with the bigger role data can take. Big Data will have an enormous impact on how a business interacts with its customers, vendors, suppliers, partners, competitors, analysts, employees and shareholders, resulting in relearning processes and practices throughout its ecosystem. This will bring great challenges, as well as unprecedented opportunities.

The most dizzying change is the speed with which insights can now happen. During the past decade, with our more left brain approach, it was six months or longer before we found insights. In its current and future work, incorporating the learning of small data and the left brain with the right brain approach, Saama now achieves insights in six weeks or less.

For a business to be successful with Big Data, leadership teams must be prepared to think quite differently about how data operates within the organization. In order for Big Data to truly create value, we must use a whole-brain approach, taking what we learned with BI small data and that left brain dominance, and combining it with today’s ability to incorporate right brain thinking for maximum Big Data consumption and game-changing insights.


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