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Big Data: Understanding How Data Powers Big Business by Bill Schmarzo

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Chapter 7

Understanding Your Value Creation Process

Some organizations have a hard time understanding or “envisioning” how big data can power their key business initiatives. This is especially true of the business users who do not understand the types of questions that can be answered and the decisions they can make by leveraging big data. This chapter introduces several envisioning techniques and exercises—with supporting worksheets—that can help business users, as well as IT teams, understand where and how big data can impact the key business value creation processes.

The envisioning exercises facilitate brainstorming among the business users to identify specific areas where big data can impact their business. These envisioning exercises are especially effective when conducted as part of a larger ideation workshop environment where group dynamics and the sharing of ideas can fuel the idea creation process.

Two basic premises underpin the use of these envisioning exercises:

1. The business users know what types of questions they are trying to answer in support of their key business processes.
2. The business users understand what types of decisions they are trying to make today in support of their key business processes.

As discussed in Chapter 3, I think you will find that the types of questions users are trying to answer are likely the same questions that organizations have been trying to answer for several decades. These are questions such as: Who are my most valuable customers? ...

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