Big data is BIG, but little data will score you the BIG job

Big data is the term for today’s complex and sophisticated data sets that prove challenging to manage with outdated data processing applications and stale data philosophies.  I know a prominent data executive that was not too long ago shown the door by his employer because he and his boss, the CTO, didn’t share the same data management philosophy.

With this burgeoning data complexity corporate America responded with the advent of a Chief Data Officer.  The Chief Data Officer, a role that didn’t exist ten years ago, is charged with solving and governing the firm’s data and big data problems.

While big data is the rage, if you are a line manager up to senior executive management your key to success is little data.  Little data are the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that run your business and determine your success.

KPIs such as overtime, cycle times, backlog, service level performance, staff turnover, employee engagement, budget performance, and value at risk a few key stats that can determine your success or failure.  Today’s very busy managers will quickly tell you that they know their KPIs. Some do…to be sure; however, if you are too caught up in firefighting, battling the bulge of your outlook inbox, and using game theory to decide which of the triple booked meetings you are to attend, which you will delegate, and which you will blow off, you may be missing out on the brilliance of little data.

Don’t let the traps of daily management stop you from knowing how much OT your organization uses, why it used it, and most importantly how you will reduce and eliminate it going forward.  Don’t let the traps of daily management stop you from knowing your true backlog, your service level performance, your true risk, erroneous charges to you cost center, and so on.

While the big data guys are all the rage, it is the operations or service delivery manager that masters her little data, that is going to score the next big job.


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