In the previous post of our twelve-part blog series on the Top 10 Technology Trends for advisors and their partners, we discussed outsourcing to find the right or inexpensive resource or person for a specific task. The last trend we will discuss in this post is Big Data.
The Big Data trend is the explosion of the amount of data available in both structured and unstructured formats. The key characteristic is around the challenge of sorting and analyzing the data so that meaningful insights can be gleaned.
One of the challenges with this trend is the amount of data that a firm can now collect. Literally everything done on your website and with your digital resources—whether by clients, prospects, employees, and/or business partners—can be tracked. There is a tendency for executives and advisors to want to track everything because there is an assumption that if you have the information, you can use it to make better business decisions. As we all know, there is a large gap between people having access to data sets and those who are able to translate that data into actionable insights that can then be used to change behavior to create a business advantage.
Don’t get bogged down in the Big Data trend. Rather, start first by taking a critical look at what information you would like to have and how that information would help you make better decisions. How can you turn information into knowledge that, when acted upon, can help you achieve a specific business objective? By knowing what you want to achieve first and envisioning how your business would be different if you had the right information, you can then make a better decision on what data to track, how much of it to keep, and how it will be analyzed.