I was just presenting at a Big Data conference in the US. Critical issues raised from some of the attendees include the lack of analytic talent in many organizations. It's an opportunity for consultants at the moment, but it could also be a disruptive force for our standard consulting model. Why? Many of the organizations at this session have already hired analytic teams, and they have mounds of data at their disposal. So they are not hiring consultants to gather information, analyze, synthesize etc., They do work with consultants on some of the more strategic issues related to how to apply data science. Usually, they need a real mix of technology, mathematics and business knowledge. It seems that some technology-based consultancies have added analytic talent enabling them to offer full service analytics partnered with vendors such as IBM, Microsoft and SAS. One other point: Health Care analytics emerged as a major issue. All this to say, there is some hype related to the Big Data trend, but there is also a lot that is real about it.
From a content perspective, there was some level of consensus about a few key points:
1. we can separate analytics from Big Data...you can do analytics with small and medium-sized data;
2. the framework for analytics education is still a bit like the wild wild west;
3. "push-button" analytics can be double-edged sword;
4. companies need to think about business value of Big Data and Analytics (this is the term I tend to use to separate analytics from Big Data);
5. analytic maturity models are immature.
I'll be at another conference in Germany in May. More to come.