Investing in a Big Data project or venture?

Investing in a Big Data project or venture?

When looking to invest in a big data project you need to consider a wide range of issues, the following is from my experience of being a database designer, developer of large scale data driven systems and an entreprruner utilising the data.

From my experience the investment your looking at, you need to answer the following:

  • The source of the data. How do you get it, do you get to keep it. This can be a key cost factor in your business model.
  • Collection time frame. How up to date is the information your getting and keeping. This is a key
  • What does it do with the data? There are many things you can do with data and making it accessible, picking the right access strategy is critical for early adoption and long term growth.
  • How is it being monetised? The path from capturing and owning a large amount of data and making money from the data is not always straight forward, picking the right business model, supported by the three previous questions will be your key deciding factors on the success or otherwise of the venture.


Restarting up your business – Product and service mix

Many businesses struggle to translate what they do to a true online operation. You can’t just “copy-paste” and there’s your business running online.


Technology Spike – What to do about it

Big One Hit Wonder Projects

These take years to build before a benefit is seen and should generally be avoided. It is far better to develop many small blocks and start seeing value as early as you can before you get left behind.

It is also, generally, easier to upgrade and maintain the smaller blocks if they are developed cohesively but without being tightly bound together and dependant on each other in order to upgrade.

Let It Go

If you have a dinosaur technology, then continuing to invest in it or use it will just drag you further behind, and it will do so faster and faster. Bite the bullet and find or build the next thing.

Invest in the “move away” strategy before it comes time, not when it is critical or already too late.

The Key

This applies even more to your business model, methods of operating, and your interactions with your clients and suppliers. All of this is a changing environment with changed expectations and the leanest and most effective wins.

Information technologies are still just tools to support and enable all these things to occur, but it is still up to you, your team, and advisors to extend your relationships with those around you and continually seek to improve on the way you do business today.

The good part is that once you start to adopt the new models and start looking for the opportunities, there is so much made available and that will open up as a result.

Technology Spike – Isn’t Just Technology’s Problem Anymore

Technology Spike – Isn’t Just Technology’s Problem Anymore

As information technology starts to integrate and influence other sectors like finance, medicine, education, wholesale, retail (you name it, it is everywhere now). These industries will be drawn into this doubling effect, and will be forced to either adapt or die out.


Technology Spike – Where Have You Seen It

Once you start looking you notice the signs of the spike impacting everywhere. Companies who have taken advantage of it and those who have ignored it and waited too long.


Technology Spike – What Does It Mean To You

What it means is something that developers are very familiar with and that most other people generally don’t want to hear.

It means that there are a range of issues that businesses need to face in the light of this growth. Primarily, your business plans, goals, budgets and thinking need to take into account the mid-term reality of change, not just the perception that it is wise to employ short-term conservation.

For the individual it means the job you did yesterday will change in the way you do it and potentially the role you play, this if you are active in learning is a huge advantage.

Technology Spike – The Trap

Technology Spike – The Trap

Previously we looked at what the spike is, and discovered that our short term perception of change lulls us into a false sense of security.

Now we look at the trap the”long range effect” creates for business leaders and anyone looking to plan their lives and careers over the next 10 years.


Technology Spike – What is it

Technology Spike – What is it

Information Technology is doubling every 1 year to 18 months, everything that it touches is pulled into this cycle … so what does this mean for your personal life, business life and your career?


If your financial adviser was your fitness trainer

A while ago I hired a financial consultant to help me work out how to grow the business. He was used to stock movement and retail businesses, so he did the usual “efficiency” calculations and promptly advised me to cut “a few less needed staff” like it was a miracle cure concept … I did not take his advice and let him go instead.

At the time I couldn’t explain exactly why I shouldn’t cut back on staff exactly, apart from the fact that the business couldn’t do the work without them. 

Finally, after thorough reflection, I can explain why I made that call.


Chancilors Lecture at Swinburne – The Place of Industry in 21st Century Australia

A few weeks ago I went along to my old University, Swinburne, for the Chancellors Lecture. It was an interesting talk from Innes Willox, from the Australian Industry Group on what the future of Australian business was likely to be.

He had a lot of good insights about the next 10 years or 20 years of Australia. The key points of note for me was that can’t hope to compete on resources, can’t hope to compete on anything that gets commoditized and primarily labour costs are high in Australia compared to competing countries.

The key takeaway for me was the answer isn’t to reduce what you pay people, or to reduce the number of people and you can still keep them in Australia. The answer is to increase the productivity (value gained per dollar spent) per person in order to remain competitive.

This is especially true in any industry that has a defensible position, you need the people because their knowledge and experience is the key advantage you have … putting these advantages to better use is where your real investment should lie.

For me this highlighted one thing above all else, business process automation and the adoption of specific business defining technologies is going to be a key factor in keeping Australian businesses from being commoditized out of existence.

In fact I would go as far as to say that next to branding, targeted matching of business and technology is going to be the key survival trait and key differentiater for the next generation of Australian business.

Making technology fit exactly to your business reduces the wastage (of peoples time as well as materials) and also provides the tooling required to keep your key people being as effective to your business as they possibly can.

Reorganising and automating business processes using the right mix of technologies (like websites and tablet devices) can give you a 50% to 80% saving in time and effort which translates directly to an increase in your competitiveness and bottom line.

Click here to download the full lecture (483MB).