By Cheechee Lin
At UCLA Anderson’s second annual Big Data Conference, attendees gathered to discuss the implications and importance of harnessing the power of this growing, seemingly ubiquitous discipline. As Professor Guillaume Roels, faculty director of the Easton Technology Management Center, put it: “Big data is getting bigger.”
The November 18 conference, held in Korn Convocation Hall before a standing-room-only audience, featured a distinguished lineup of panelists and keynote speakers. In one session, Jason Lee, principal at Bain & Company, led the audience through key insights the company has gleaned from helping clients use data science. As the volume, variety and velocity of data accelerate and the big data infrastructure has expanded, he said, Bain’s clients have had to work hard to stay up to date. The changes have also disrupted the way companies work, reshaping processes, companies and industries along the way.
Lee demonstrated the value of employing big data through the stories of three key clients. In the first, Bain assisted a media distribution company to connect its siloed data sets to provide a single view of the customer across the company, and in turn helped break barriers inside the internal organizational structure. This greatly accelerated the company’s leaders’ ability to think about the future.
In the second, Bain worked closely with a hospitality company to improve performance and operations. Lee said Bain helped the company create a center of excellence to apply the best in data science and built trust through buy-ins from across the organization. This assisted the company by accelerating its ability to implement data-driven decisions.
In the last example Lee presented, a utility company used big data to improve customer experience and satisfaction. By diving in and deriving meaning from big data sets, the company was able to demonstrate what was happening on the ground in real time to find more efficient ways of serving customers.
“Data analytics have no value on their own,” Lee said. “Value is only derived when raw data is turned into insights, then translated into action.” He said he believes that companies need to shift toward investing in changing behavior at all levels of their organizations, and creating a culture that encourages the use of data science.
This is the first of 3 posts in the Big Data Conference series.