The tremendous revenue-generating potential of Big Data is taking organizations in a vast array of industries by storm. However, a recent article on the TechRepublic website points out that when your organization is planning to gain value by harnessing Big Data, it’s important to focus on the data you already have, even if it doesn’t appear to be readily available.

There are many pockets of data—especially in the government space—that sit in different machines or formats. Mary Shacklett’s article shares key takeaways about the importance of having a “Big Data champion” within your organization, and being extremely focused on how Big Data will be harnessed as you begin your journey.

The direct revenue-generating implications of harnessing Big Data may not be readily apparent, so it’s important to have a champion for the technology in your organization. Remember, not all new technologies will immediately pan out and pay the big dividends that everyone is hoping for.

For organizations that are implementing an IBM Smarter Cities solution, you need a Smarter Cities champion to get everyone on board and, more importantly, to keep everyone motivated as the project progresses. A champion helps guide technology projects and ensures that the focus remains on delivering value to the organization.

It’s also important to start small. Instead of implementing a large-scale analytics project across your enterprise, pick one or two business questions and pull in a few datasets to analyze. Staying focused on specific challenges that allow for focused solutions keeps things from getting overly complicated.

Focus your efforts on specific sections of your data.
Focus your efforts on specific sections of your data.

In addition, this helps to ensure that you’ll see immediate gains. Get an early win and gain buy-in. A pilot is a good approach to help you get started and will pave the way for larger projects later on.

Talk to everyone and find out what potential problems must be solved. That’s particularly important in organizations on the front lines that deal with customers or citizens. They likely have the best insight into where Big Data can add value to their decision-making process.

The sooner your organization understands how and where Big Data can add value, the sooner you’ll be strengthening your bottom line or adding value to your customers with the insights you gain.