We can see many organizations still looking at Big Data as a set of tools to gather and visualize their structured and unstructured data. In fact, they are missing a huge opportunity to make Big Data actionable and profitable. Let’s take a look at Disney’s example:
In the Disney case we can observe extensive use of an almost fully integrated matrix of technologies. All visitors receive a wristband called MagicBand and in each is an RFID chip and radio that can transmit over 40 feet in every direction. MagicBands connect visitors to a powerful system of thousands of sensors within the park. It allows Disney to build a gigantic database of every move the visitors make within the park like real-time location data, purchase history, demographic data, riding patterns and more, fueling Disney's value creation and capture mode. In addition, mobile Apps and Social Data are providing additional business intelligence for more personalized, one-to-one marketing and engagement. All of these touch points are focused on enhancing the customer experience.
Besides the complete traceability of each customer’s interactions within Disney’s facilities, several processes are streamlining like FastPast access and PhotoPass. Even when someone isn’t successful in booking a dinner reservation, an opportunity for exceeding expectations can be found as the hostess at that restaurant will be automatically informed of the situation and can offer the customer a new chance to make the desired reservation based on a new vacancy. These technologies turn the park into a powerful computer designed to anticipate visitors’ desires, providing an unprecedented level of customization moving past transactions to personalize the experience.
The technology allowed Disney to accommodate 3,000 additional daily guests at its Magic Kingdom park over Christmas. Chief Operating Officer, Thomas O. Staggs said, “Use of the new FastPass reservation system has increased 40 percent over the old one, freeing people from standing in line and increasing the number of experiences they have there.”
Organizations must learn from Disney’s data transformation and find new and innovative ways to fully leverage their data and change their business through analytics. The key to making these new insights actionable is to make analytics operational. This requires embedding analytics into business processes in an automated way and generating analytics on the fly, whenever decisions need to be made.
Powerful data visualization has been around for a while, but with some restriction. Big Data technologies have brought new processing levels, providing almost real time capabilities to gather, enrich and visualize structured and unstructured data together. These new levels significantly improve the accessibility and new impacts of data, which aid the discovery of new insights. Until recently, most analytics were artisanal. Today however, the operational analytics are embedded in business processes in an automated way. They are prescriptive and generated in decision time; that is, they are available whenever decisions need to be made.
In order to make Big Data actionable, IT must evolve from the traditional model, heavy data access controlled to a serving and discovery model, to where business people can generate their own insights dynamically. Possible resistance will be met partly from the fact that CIOs and other IT professionals sometimes lack the experience and/or skills needed to fully embrace new technologies. Rather than living with legacy and modern technologies, IT units have to embrace the evolution from legacy technology to efficient, prescriptive engagement processes. It can be incremental, but will eventually provide the necessary steps to a virtuous environment.