You can’t act if you don’t know. You don’t know if you don’t ask

In the era of Big Data, the problem is not the numbers, but the amount of numbers there are out there.

What makes us act? How do we decide to do something – in our personal lives and in business? We use data to judge situations, prospects and possibilities. But, deep down, we usually know what we want. Hopefully.

In business, the problem has always been to know what needs to be done, and when it needs to be done. I know that sounds very simple; but in the end, most business is a simple process. You have to sell your product or service to people who don’t realize they want or need it yet. To do that, you need to understand their needs and wants.

That’s where data comes in. In the era of Big Data, the problem is not the numbers, but the amount of numbers there are out there. It’s a deluge. And deluges always lead to floods.

In the new Fujitsu Insight Guide, Lost in Data: How to Stop Hoarding Data and Start using it to Answer Important Business Questions, there’s a lot of discussion about how you need to use data to act – internally, to make your organization better; and externally, to compete, innovate and, well, sell more.

But, Big Data, if it’s not properly organized and analyzed can actually slow you down – physically and mentally. Being confronted with a lake (often an ocean) of data is daunting. It means you must do a lot of work navigating your way through it all. The contributors to the Insight Guide are very clear that it’s important to start with the right questions. The data does not yield insights on its own – that’s very rare. You always should approach data with a set of questions based on what you believe will be effective actions in a marketplace, or across an organization.

That means stepping back, talking to all areas of the organization about what needs to be done, and what should be done in both the short- and long-terms. And that’s all about collaboration. Across departments, siloes, and borders. Everyone tells you that your data should be unified, but then so does your organization. It must be focused on a specific set of objectives. That’s the only way to extract value from a sea of numbers.

You will never know the right answers if you don’t ask the right questions. And those questions can only be discovered if people get together and talk about objectives. That’s the true power of Big Data and the analytics needed to cope with it.

That’s why, at Fujitsu, we address big data with a human-centric approach, it’s about people and business outcomes, not just the numbers.

Read our latest Insight Guide, Lost in Data
Read our latest infographic, The real value of the numbers

See our latest video about “Data Analytics: Getting closer to your customer”

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