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Three Personas That Drive Our Big Data Needs | @ThingsExpo #BigData #IoT #M2M

If you are a company like Facebook, Twitter or eBay, you definitely have a lot of data at your hands

Three Personas That Drive Our Big Data (Or Any Data) Needs

I am not a data scientist or an expert in knowing how to build candlestick charts from historical stock prices. I am however a data enthusiast and it fascinates me when I hear people talk about Big Data, like they invented it. Sorry, no offense meant, but really how did we just jump to Big Data without even creating an understanding about any kind of data?

Information in any shape, form or face is a brilliant resource. We work with information every day and, if you look at it, nothing runs without information. Every business of every size across the world works on information - even the smallest corner store to the corporations working in large glass towers. This information is of many types: accounting information, sales data, marketing stats, customer information, and purchase order information, patient information, hosting information and so on. Everything we know has some kind of information associated with it. Do we agree so far? Yes we do.

Enter Big Data. I often hear people say we have too much data and we have no idea what to do with it. If you are a company like Facebook, Twitter or eBay, you definitely have a lot of data at your hands. For the average company, it's not Big Data. It is any data. As a small or medium sized company unless you are generating petabytes worth data from research, or some large scale initiative, you are still in the any data category. When it comes to any data, the question is what are you doing with your data? Have you recently looked at say your customer data and seen if there are any patterns? Have you sifted through your employee data and seen what department provides you with the maximum ROI? I can go on with all sorts of examples. Point is no matter what type of company you are and what size you are, you have access to key data. Your data. This information is invaluable and you cause it to make key decisions for your business today. Here are three data personas that can define your way to work with data and what it can do for you. Perhaps you identify with some of them or may have come across them within your organization. Which one are you?

Andy the Data Archer
Andy is far too busy with his daily work to bother with working with too much data. He generates a lot of any data, but uses it sparingly during weekly, monthly meetings and so on. Andy is potentially generating a low amount of any data and really doesn't care what happens to it after, as long as it can be retrieved later on. He needs data that is sorted, clean and structured to work with. He does not have the skills or time to clean up data. Andy is categorized as a data archer. He uses data in a precise way for specific needs and to get specific results. He needs data in a ready format (like an arrow) that he can use to get what he wants. Here are some pointers on what does and does not drive Andy.

  • Do's: Provide data, discuss data, and discuss how final data can be better suited for his needs
  • Don'ts: Work with raw data, provide unstructured or unclean data

Emma the Data Enthusiast
Emma loves data and likes creating insights with any kind of data she can get her hands on. She has an analytical mind and although she works in the sales planning department, can work with a lot of data identifying trends, peaks and patterns. Emma needs data to be in a semi clean state when she uses it. She knows the impact that data has on her every day job because her work is very much attached to working with it every day. Here are some pointers on what does and does not drive Emma.

  • Do's: Get more inside the hood, discuss how data is structured and how it can be better created
  • Don'ts: Gets bored with final data, needs to be able to slice and dice, likes getting hands data dirty

Will the Data Worshipper
Will is as analytical as one can get. He has an intricate knowledge of data analysis, techniques and can create candlesticks charts on paper in no time. Will has a deep knowledge of the types of data that can be used specific purposes. Although not a data analyst like Emma, he will however work with a large team of specialists who help make sense of Big Data from many databases. Will is driven by unstructured data because he can structure it the way he wants. Here are some pointers on what does and does not drive Will.

  • Do's: Can work with any data, thrives on the big picture yet loves solving complex data problems, idea Big Data scientist
  • Don'ts: May get bored with final data use discussions, seeks perfection

All the three personas defined above work with data in one way or the other. Their roles are completely dependent on analyzing data in some way, yet not all of them work with an intricate and massive set of data on an everyday basis. The typical business user today like Andy and Emma knows how data works but does not need to get into the structured and unstructured debate, whereas Will thrives on every kind of data. Users like Will who work on specialized pieces of information and massive amounts of information are Big Data users.

Meant to be a small insight into our data needs and who are driving our data analysis needs, this article is just the tip of the iceberg. Most important, keep in perspective that data in any format is key, but it is also important to refer to data in the right way as it impacts a specific end user in the way it is used. What are your thoughts?

More Stories By Ian Khan

CNN Futurist, Forbes Contributor, Author, 3 Time TEDx Speaker and Technology Futurist, over the last 20 years Ian Khan has had the privilege to serve the needs of over 5000 organizations by fueling their growth through technology solutions. He has helped a diverse set of businesses ranging from Technology Companies, Oil Companies, Power Generation & Renewables Operators, Microsoft Ecosystem Partners, SAP Customers and Partners, Healthcare Providers, Manufacturers, Facility Operators, Startups, Educational Institutions, Nonprofits & associations and more. Ian’s experiences with these organizations led him to a unique position of being able to identify the common challenges of growth for all these organizations. The bottom line as he found out, is that we all are hungry for success and want to grow and make a difference. Where we fall short is by failing to understand our environment and taking the right action within that environment. After 20 years serving the needs of the industry Ian’s natural pivot was to answer his calling and help organizations at a broader level understand what tomorrow brings. His work and study of all these organizations brought forward very unique perspectives that he now share through his work. Today, hands down, we live in the great time for humanity. Technology is a great thing, but it also has its victims. Many organizations of tomorrow will fail under the pressure of a fast changing world, much of which is fueled and driven by technology. Ian’s mission is to help organizations avoid that pitfall, and propel themselves into success in today’s era and go from digital disruption to digital transformation in the fastest and most sustainable way. This is the only way, according to him, we can together create limitless value, create solutions that are faced by us locally as well as by others around the globe, and make the world a happier place. Today Ian’s work spans working with people by delivering keynotes, consulting and by promoting his 7 –Axioms methodology through his book and workshops. He is also working on an ambitious project of releasing a documentary in spring of 2018 called Industry 4.0. Industry 4.0 will capture the thoughts and insights of some of the world’s leading thinkers and help us understand the 4th Industrial Revolution, Its Impact, and how we can all be have an opportunity to be part of the emerging future and make the right choices. For more information please visit www.iankhan.com

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