Organizations that deal with big data analytics often grapple with change management.
But in all the classroom discussions that surfaced around the big issues from big data — privacy, security, costs, infrastructure, data volume, data quality, and data governance — the reality that many organizations grapple with is change management: whether or not they can manage the human and process changes necessary to make the most of their analytics initiatives.
Bottom line: the real question is whether or not they can change the culture of their organization.
Consider the experience of one course participant, who talked about how her organization, a software company with 100 million customers, is struggling to implement a new analytics program that will enable both multi-channel customer communications and upselling. To achieve these goals, the company needs to change the way it handles sales data (replace batch processing of sales information with real time processing) and communicates with customers (replace blanket email communications with more personalized, one-on-one communications).
For this problem, the researchers offered two approaches: Pentland talked about how to get people to do what you want them to do, while Brynjolfsson provided a model to evaluate the process end of change management.
To get people to do what you want them to do — in essense, to get buy-in on analytics — Pentland talked about creating a model that combines the intuitive thinking employed by HiPPOs (highest-paid person’s opinions) with quantitative reasoning from “the quants.” Bringing the two together enables organizations to explore data, visualize relationships and understand in a human, intuitive way what data is telling them.