Who is Asking Good Questions?I like to find the individuals who ask good questions. They tend to be analytical and data driven, but don't necessarily have the technical skills to perform data discovery work to find answers on their own. Ideally, they are business decision makers or are highly influential to drive others to review data.
These people aren't necessarily the ones asking for reports from IT systems. IT systems tend to serve a single or a small number of departments, so requested reports tend to be operationally focused. Reports that show the health of a sales pipeline (CRM), trends in purchasing behavior (ecommerce), velocity of the development team (agile tools) or P/L performance (financials) are all examples of operationally focused reports. They all help answer questions on performance, alert if there is risk (metrics trending poorly), or provide metrics if specific activities are improving performance.
The best questions usually target more strategic transformations and often require correlating information from multiple data sources. The answers may demonstrate collaboration opportunities by showing how activity performed by one organization affect others. They help connect customer behavior to operational activities or decisions around the supply chain.
Examples of Good Big Data Driven QuestionsHere are some examples of good Big Data questions that lead to discovery, insight and action
- IT - How much user interaction is there on our our most expensive IT systems, what are users doing, in what business processes is it used in, and how much value is it driving?
- Marketing - From what lead generation activities are we yielding customers with the shortest sales cycles or highest retention?
- Product - What are the most common activities performed by regular visitors to our site and which of them drive the most revenue?