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Identifying Where and How to Start the Big Data Journey | @BigDataExpo #BigData #DataLake #Analytics
Organizations are eager to realize the business benefits of Big Data that they don’t take the time to do the little things first

Decisions Exercise: Identifying Where and How to Start the Big Data Journey

The recent deluge of rains in Northern California have flooded streets, brought down trees and plugged storm sewers.  As I was trying to make my way around the neighborhood, I thought of a classroom exercise to help my MBA students to identify the use cases upon which they could focus data and analytics.  In this exercise, I’m going to ask my students to pretend that they have been hired by the city to “Optimize Street Maintenance” after these rainstorms. In particular, the students need to address the following questions:

  • Where and how do you start to address this initiative?
  • What data might you need to support this initiative?

These are classic questions that I hear all the time when I meet with clients about their big data journeys.  Let’s walk through how I’ll teach my students to address this challenge.

Step 1:  Identify and Brainstorm the Decisions
“Where and how to start?” is such an open ended question.  How does one even begin to think about that question?  We recommend that organizations start by identifying the decisions that need to be made to support the targeted business initiative, which is “Optimize Street Maintenance” in this exercise.

I will break up the students into small groups (3 to 5 students) and ask them to brainstorm the decisions that need to be made with respect to the “Optimize Street Maintenance” initiative.  Those decisions could include:

  • What streets and intersections need maintenance?
  • What storm sewers are blocked?
  • What is blocking those storm sewers?
  • What sort of maintenance is needed?
  • What is the impact of street cleaning and debris removal on flooding?
  • What streets and intersections should we fix first?
  • How busy are the streets and intersections?
  • What worker skills are needed to fix the street?
  • What equipment and materials are needed to fix the street?
  • What time of the day / day of the week is ideal for doing that maintenance work?
  • How many workers are available?
  • Do I have access to temporary workers?
  • How much overtime can I afford?
  • How do I warn residents that a road is flooded?
  • What options do I give residents when the major arteries are flooded?

This brainstorming is much more effective when you have brought together the different business stakeholders who either impact or are impacted by the “Accelerate Street Maintenance” initiative (see Figure 1).

Figure 1: Brainstorm Decisions Across Different Stakeholders

Some key process points about Step 1:

  • Allow individuals to brainstorm on their own at first. When it is entirely a group exercise, some folks go quiet and we potentially lose some good ideas.
  • Be sure to capture each decision on a separate Post-It note for later usage.
  • Place the decisions/Post-it Notes on a flip chart (or two).
  • You don’t need to group decisions by business function. I just did it here to demonstrate the process.

Finally, “all ideas are worthy of consideration.”  This is the key to any brainstorming session; to create an environment where everyone feels comfortable to contribute without someone passing judgment about his or her thoughts or ideas.

Step 2:  Group Decisions Into Use Cases
Next, we want to group the decisions into common subject areas or use cases (which is much easier to do if each decision is captured on a separate Post-It note).  I will bring all the students together around the decisions on Post-it Notes, and have them look for logical groupings.

Looking over the decisions captured above, we can start to see some natural “Accelerate Street Maintenance” use cases emerging, such as:

Prioritize Streets and Intersections

  • What streets and intersections should we fix first?
  • What streets and intersections are busiest at what times of the day?
  • What are the alternative route options during maintenance?
  • What are the alternative transportation options during maintenance?
  • What business parks or malls will be disrupted by the maintenance work?
  • Which streets and intersections raise safety concerns for bikers and pedestrians?

Estimate Maintenance Effort

  • What streets and intersections need maintenance?
  • What storm sewers need maintenance?
  • How much maintenance is needed?
  • What type of maintenance is needed?
  • What worker maintenance skills are needed?
  • What types of equipment and materials are needed?

Optimize Maintenance Effort

  • What worker skills are needed to fix the street?
  • How many workers with those skills are available?
  • What equipment is available to fix the street?
  • What tools are needed to fix the street?
  • What materials (concrete, asphalt) are needed to fix the street?
  • How effective is street cleaning and debris removal in preventing flooding?

Minimize Traffic Disruptions

  • Which streets are bottlenecks for schools and at what times of the day?
  • Which streets are bottlenecks for shopping malls and at what times of the day?
  • Which streets are bottlenecks for business parks and at what times of the day?
  • What are the alternative route options?
  • What are the public transportation options?

Minimize Maintenance Costs

  • How many workers are available?
  • To what temporary workers do we have access?
  • How much overtime can I afford?
  • How much maintenance budget is available?

Improve Resident Communications

  • What streets need maintenance?
  • What streets and intersections are likely to need maintenance?
  • What are alternative travel routes?
  • What are alternative transportation options?

Increase Resident Satisfaction

  • How many residents did the flooding impact?
  • How long were those residents impacted?
  • What comments or feedback are most important and/or relevant?
  • What phone calls are most important and/or relevant?
  • What social media postings are important and/or relevant?

See Figure 2 for an example of how the end point of Step 2 might look.

A key process point about Step 2:

  • Ideally you will end up with 7 to 12 use cases. If you have fewer than 7, then look for ways to break up some of the groupings.  If you have more than 12, then look for ways to aggregate similar use cases.  Not sure why, but 7 to 12 use cases always seems to work out to the right level of granularity in the use cases.

Step 3:  Prioritize Use Cases
Not all use cases are equal, and some use cases are dependent upon other use cases.  The prioritization matrix takes the different business stakeholders through a facilitated process to prioritize each use case vis-à-vis its business value and implementation feasibility (see Figure 3).

Figure 3: Prioritization Matrix

For more details on the prioritization process, check out these blogs:

Summary
The news really surprised no one:  “MD Anderson Benches IBM Watson In Setback For Artificial Intelligence In Medicine.”  From the press release:

“The partnership between IBM and one of the world’s top cancer research institutions is falling apart. The project is on hold, MD Anderson confirms, and has been since late last year. MD Anderson is actively requesting bids from other contractors who might replace IBM in future efforts.  And a scathing report from auditors at the University of Texas says the project cost MD Anderson more than $62 million and yet did not meet its goals.”

If big data were only about buying and installing technology, then it would be easy.  Unfortunately, companies are learning the hard way that the “big bang” approach for implementing big data is fraught with misguided expectations and outright failures.

Organizations are so eager to realize the business benefits of big data, that they don’t take the time to do the little things first, like identifying and prioritizing those use cases that offer the optimal mix of business value and implementation feasibility. While I applaud all efforts to cure cancer (my mom died from cancer, so I have a vested interest like so many others), sometimes “curing cancer” might not be the best place to start.  Identifying and prioritizing those use cases that move the organization towards that “cure cancer” aspiration is the best way to achieve that goal.

The post Decisions Exercise: Identifying Where and How To Start the Big Data Journey appeared first on InFocus Blog | Dell EMC Services.

Read the original blog entry...

About William Schmarzo
Bill Schmarzo, author of “Big Data: Understanding How Data Powers Big Business”, is responsible for setting the strategy and defining the Big Data service line offerings and capabilities for the EMC Global Services organization. As part of Bill’s CTO charter, he is responsible for working with organizations to help them identify where and how to start their big data journeys. He’s written several white papers, avid blogger and is a frequent speaker on the use of Big Data and advanced analytics to power organization’s key business initiatives. He also teaches the “Big Data MBA” at the University of San Francisco School of Management.

Bill has nearly three decades of experience in data warehousing, BI and analytics. Bill authored EMC’s Vision Workshop methodology that links an organization’s strategic business initiatives with their supporting data and analytic requirements, and co-authored with Ralph Kimball a series of articles on analytic applications. Bill has served on The Data Warehouse Institute’s faculty as the head of the analytic applications curriculum.

Previously, Bill was the Vice President of Advertiser Analytics at Yahoo and the Vice President of Analytic Applications at Business Objects.

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Softlayer

TAMASKAR
GENBAND

SUBRA
-MANIAN

Emcien

LEVESQUE
Windstream

IVANOV
StorPool

BLOOMBERG
Intellyx

BUDHANI
Soha

HATHAWAY
IBM Watson

TOLL
ProfitBricks

LANDRY
Microsoft

BEARFIELD
Blue Box

HERITAGE
Akana

PILUSO
SIASMSP

HOLT
IBM Cloudant

SHAN
CTS

PICCININNI
EMC

BRON-
GERSMA

Modulus

PAIGE
CenturyLink

SABHIKHI
Cognitive Scale

MILLS
Green House Data

KATZEN
CenturyLink

SLOPER
CenturyLink

SRINIVAS
EMC

TALREJA
Cisco

GORBACHEV
Systems Services Inc.

COLLISON
Apcera

PRABHU
OpenCrowd

LYNN
CodeFutures

SWARTZ
Ericsson

MOSHENKO
CoreOS

BERMINGHAM
SIOS

WILLIS
Stateless Networks

MURPHY
Gridstore

KHABE
Vicom

NIKOLOV
GetClouder

DIETZE
Windstream

DALRYMPLE
EnterpriseDB

MAZZUCCO
TierPoint

RIVERA
WHOA.com

HERITAGE
Akana

SEYMOUR
6fusion

GIANNETTO
Author

CARTER
IBM

ROGERS
Virtustream
Cloud Expo Silicon Valley All-Star Speakers

TESAR
Microsoft

MICKOS
HP

BHARGAVA
Intel

RILEY
Riverbed

DEVINE
IBM

ISAACSON
CodeFutures

LYNN
HP

HINKLE
Citrix

KHAN
Solgenia

SINGH
Bigdata

BEACH
SendGrid

BOSTOCK
IndependenceIT

DE SOUZA
Cisco

PATTATHIL
Harbinger

O'BRIEN
Aria Systems

BONIFAZI
Solgenia

BIANCO
Solgenia

PROCTOR
NuoDB

DUGGAL
EnterpriseWeb

TEGETHOFF
Appcore

BRUNOZZI
VMware

HICKENS
Parasoft

KLEBANOV
Cisco

PETERS
Esri

GOLDBERG
Vormetric

CUMBER-
LAND

Dimension

ROSENDAHL
Quantum

LOOMIS
Cloudant

BRUNO
StackIQ

HANNON
SoftLayer

JACKSON
SoftLayer

HOCH
Virtustream

KAPADIA
Seagate

PAQUIN
OnLive

TSAI
Innodisk

BARRALL
Connected Data

SHIAH
AgilePoint

SEGIL
Verizon

PODURI
Citrix

COWIE
Dyn

RITTEN-
HOUSE

Cisco

FALLOWS
Kaazing

THYKATTIL
TimeWarner

LEIDUCK
SAP

LYNN
HP

WAGSTAFF
BSQUARE

POLLACK
AOL

KAMARAJU
Vormetric

BARRY
Catbird

MENDEN-
HALL

SUPERNAP

SHAN
KEANE

PLESE
Verizon

BARNUM
Voxox

TURNER
Cloudian

CALDERON
Advanced Systems

AGARWAL
SOA Software

LEE
Quantum

OBEROI
Concurrent, Inc.

HATEM
Verizon

GALEY
Autodesk

CAUTHRON
NIMBOXX

BARSOUM
IBM

GORDON
1Plug

LEWIS
Verizon

YEO
OrionVM

NAKAGAWA
Transparent Cloud Computing

SHIBATA
Transparent Cloud Computing

NATH
GE

GOKCEN
GE

STOICA
Databricks

TANKEL
Pivotal Software



Testimonials
This week I had the pleasure of delivering the opening keynote at Cloud Expo New York. It was amazing to be back in the great city of New York with thousands of cloud enthusiasts eager to learn about the next step on their journey to embracing a cloud-first worldl."
@SteveMar_Msft
General Manager of Window Azure
 
How does Cloud Expo do it every year? Another INCREDIBLE show - our heads are spinning - so fun and informative."
@SOASoftwareInc
 
Thank you @ThingsExpo for such a great event. All of the people we met over the past three days makes us confident IoT has a bright future."
Yasser Khan
CEO of @Cnnct2me
 
One of the best conferences we have attended in a while. Great job, Cloud Expo team! Keep it going."

@Peak_Ten


Who Should Attend?
Senior Technologists including CIOs, CTOs & Vps of Technology, Chief Systems Engineers, IT Directors and Managers, Network and Storage Managers, Enterprise Architects, Communications and Networking Specialists, Directors of Infrastructure.

Business Executives including CEOs, CMOs, & CIOs , Presidents & SVPs, Directors of Business Development , Directors of IT Operations, Product and Purchasing Managers, IT Managers.

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Join Us as a Media Partner - Together We Can Rock the IT World!
SYS-CON Media has a flourishing Media Partner program in which mutually beneficial promotion and benefits are arranged between our own leading Enterprise IT portals and events and those of our partners.

If you would like to participate, please provide us with details of your website/s and event/s or your organization and please include basic audience demographics as well as relevant metrics such as ave. page views per month.

To get involved, email Patricia Henderson at [email protected].

@CloudExpo Blogs
The reality of data ubiquity is here—data is buried in operational statistics, machine logs, stacks of overflowing tickets and customer details, among other things. How can any user get valuable information amid this rapid influx of data? Imagine a situation where your firm’s revenue takes a hit owing to an unexpected failure in some business process. It would be a nightmare for IT admins to sift through the interminable piles of data to deduce exactly why and where the problem occurred. To save time and their sanity, they need a solution that instantly analyzes data and detects the problem f...
The Internet of Things (IoT) has evolved quite rapidly, especially if you consider how long it took for little packet-switching networks like ARPANET to morph into today’s nearly ubiquitous internet. Our nascent IoT ecosystem is already populated by billions of sensors and connected devices, hundreds of millions of servers, and thousands of hybrid clouds serving billions of people… all of them perpetually producing and/or consuming data in an explosion of information.
Let’s rewind the clock a bit. A few years ago, object storage was the new technology that promised to replace file system in the secondary storage market. It would scale beyond the limits of file systems and deliver better costs. The trade-off would be lower ease-of-use with new protocols that required rewriting of the applications. File systems would keep its place as the tier-one storage solution, because of its superior performance. The world order was clear with object storage elbowing file system out of secondary storage and gradually squeezing it out of tier one as its performance improv...
SYS-CON Events announced today that GrapeUp, the leading provider of rapid product development at the speed of business, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Grape Up is a software company, specialized in cloud native application development and professional services related to Cloud Foundry PaaS. With five expert teams that operate in various sectors of the market across the USA and Europe, we work with a variety of customers from emerging startups to Fortune 1000 c...
What's disruptive innovation, and why does it matter to leaders in the C-suite? It's how the savvy non-conformist will target market opportunities. How does this happen, when established companies seem to have the advantage? Creative software developers can quickly apply new technologies and digital business models to capture untapped demand.

Moreover, the most disruptive new companies will eventually reshape entire industries, swiftly pushing aside the legacy incumbent players -- it's a form of Digital Darwinism. The global networked economy will blossom, thanks to the pervasive In...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 21st Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - computers, smartphones, tablets, and sensors - connected to the Internet by 2020. This number w...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Ayehu will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on October 31 - November 2, 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara California. Ayehu provides IT Process Automation & Orchestration solutions for IT and Security professionals to identify and resolve critical incidents and enable rapid containment, eradication, and recovery from cyber security breaches. Ayehu provides customers greater control over IT infrastructure through automation. Ayehu solutions have been deployed by major enterprises worldwide, and ...
Containers are things for your things. That is true in the development world too - containers are things for your software, and, like containers for your things, software containers can help you be organized, efficient, and secure. Chris Morgan (@cmorgan_cloud), the Technical Director, OpenShift Partner Ecosystem at Red Hat, delivered a keynote at the 2016 All Day DevOps conference. Chris lives and breathes containers and recently discussed how they are transforming DevOps pipelines.
SYS-CON Events announced today that MobiDev, a client-oriented software development company, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MobiDev is a software company that develops and delivers turn-key mobile apps, websites, web services, and complex software systems for startups and enterprises. Since 2009 it has grown from a small group of passionate engineers and business managers to a full-scale mobile software company with over 200 developers, designers, quality assur...
Cloud computing is more than servers and storage. In a crisis situation it can actually be a lifesaver. BlackBerry, in fact, has just become the first cloud-based crisis communication service to receive a Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) authorization from the United States Government for its AtHoc Alert and AtHoc Connect services. If you’re not familiar with FedRAMP, it is a US government-wide program that provides a standardized approach to security assessment, authorization, and continuous monitoring for cloud products and services. The Blackberry certification wa...
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend 21st Cloud Expo October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, CA, and June 12-14, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.
The dirty little secret, however, is that we are as unable to predict the future as you. None of us really knows what will happen next. The future is made up of an incredibly complex mixture of technologies, possibilities, and events that come together in ways that no one can truly predict. The answer, therefore, is not to attempt to predict the future. But instead, to prepare for an uncertain future by building organizational capabilities that allow you to anticipate and rapidly pivot, respond and react to any change that the market may throw at you.
21st International Cloud Expo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Meanwhile, 94% of enterprises are using some form of XaaS – software, platform, and infrastructure as ...
Join us at Cloud Expo June 6-8 to find out how to securely connect your cloud app to any cloud or on-premises data source – without complex firewall changes. More users are demanding access to on-premises data from their cloud applications. It’s no longer a “nice-to-have” but an important differentiator that drives competitive advantages. It’s the new “must have” in the hybrid era. Users want capabilities that give them a unified view of the data to get closer to customers and grow business. They’re dealing with greater volumes of data than ever before, and much of this resides behind corporat...
Automation is enabling enterprises to design, deploy, and manage more complex, hybrid cloud environments. Yet the people who manage these environments must be trained in and understanding these environments better than ever before. A new era of analytics and cognitive computing is adding intelligence, but also more complexity, to these cloud environments. How smart is your cloud? How smart should it be? In this power panel at 20th Cloud Expo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists looked at the evolving nature of hybrid cloud, how it affects enterprise IT staffing requirement...
Many organizations are associating data monetization with selling their data. But selling data is not a trivial task, especially for organizations whose primary business relies on its data. Organizations new to selling data need to be concerned with privacy and Personally Identifiable Information (PII), data quality and accuracy, data transmission reliability, pricing, packaging, marketing, sales, support, etc. Companies such as Nielsen, Experian and Acxiom are experts at selling data because that’s their business; they have built a business around gathering, aggregating, cleansing, aligning, ...
There's a lot to gain from cloud computing, but success requires a thoughtful and enterprise focused approach. Cloud computing decouples data and information from the infrastructure on which it lies. A process that is a LOT more involved than dragging some folders from your desktop to a shared drive. Cloud computing as a mission transformation activity, not a technological one. As an organization moves from local information hosting to the cloud, one of the most important challenges is addressing cloud computing as a mission transformation activity, not a technological one. Cloud computing is...
Machine Learning needs tons of data. But what are you going to do when the data only exist in the heads of your employees? Machine Learning, Deep Learning, Cognitive Computing, Robotic Process Automation (RPA), Natural Language Processing (NLP), Machine Perception, Predictive APIs, Image Recognition, Speech Recognition, Virtual Agent, Intelligent Assistant, Personal Advisor, Chatbot, Semantic Search. Did I miss anything? I am sure I did. However, I guess I provide a good list for your next round of Artificial Intelligence (AI) bullshit bingo. Oh, one last thing - Machine Reasoning! If you've ...
In the decade following his article, cloud computing further cemented Carr’s perspective. Compute, storage, and network resources have become simple utilities, available at the proverbial turn of the faucet. The value they provide is immense, but the cloud playing field is amazingly level. Carr’s quote above presaged the cloud to a T. Today, however, we’re in the digital era. Mark Andreesen’s ‘software is eating the world’ prognostication is coming to pass, as enterprises realize they must become software companies to remain competitive. The value IT brings to such companies is unquestiona...
Both SaaS vendors and SaaS buyers are going “all-in” to hyperscale IaaS platforms such as AWS, which is disrupting the SaaS value proposition. Why should the enterprise SaaS consumer pay for the SaaS service if their data is resident in adjacent AWS S3 buckets? If both SaaS sellers and buyers are using the same cloud tools, automation and pay-per-transaction model offered by IaaS platforms, then why not host the “shrink-wrapped” software in the customers’ cloud? Further, serverless computing, cloud marketplaces and DevOps are changing the economics of hosting and delivering software. ...