Before you can leverage big data, you must guard against making these two leadership failures. That’s the valuable advice coming from Gartner Inc. The technology research consultancy says that big data strategy failures stem from two mistakes committed by an organization’s leadership. One is not understanding the business benefits of collating and mining data sets, and second, underestimating business and IT changes that can help realize and leverage big data goals.

Defining the value of big data for your organization

Big data first rode the popularity wave in 2008 and 2009, on the back of simultaneous enhancements to memory, processing, storage and network technologies. It was truly a major phenomenon in the technology world, one that occurs once every 15 years, according to Gartner. The aforementioned improvements have come to become the three V’s of big data – volume, variety and velocity. During the time, companies explored ways to leverage more data analytics, a continuing effort that has resulted in a fourth V – value. Organizations must recognize opportunities and manipulate to leverage big data to usher innovations, improve revenue and realize tangible value.

More than sum total of parts

A major aspect of leverage big data is to create a more data-driven culture. For many businesses, this may be a ground-up initiative, if you listen to what Gartner has to say. According to the consultancy, businesses have a better grasp of their physical assets like chairs and tables than their data. To get started on their big data initiatives, businesses can take an inventory of all their internal and external data sources. These include machine-generated data, point-of-sale systems, email and more.

Organizations must also consider investing in new technology. This must be done judiciously, after evaluating returns from the big data solution. Budget constrains and economic downturns can restrict businesses from making technology investments. Big data, BI and data science service providers can be valuable partners in helping businesses realize their goals while staying cost-competitive.

Bridging the IT-business divide

Closing the IT-business gap assumes even more importance in an organization on a journey to becoming more data-driven. Gartner suggests that IT play a consultative role to make the leadership and business executives understand the range and potential of the available analytical capabilities. When business and IT are on the same page, they can brainstorm ideas together.

Gartner highlights the importance of good data governance to the success of big data projects. It creates a foundation of trustworthy analytics and improves the value of information throughout the organization.