The Balanced Scorecard can drive your big data strategy to overcome data analysis paralysis; Dr Dave Norton and Professor Dave Ulrich affirm that big data is of no use unless it offers leaders insights relevant to their strategy.

In 2012, Big Data made the cut as the new form of economic currency. The world’s brightest and best thought leaders in Davos acknowledged big data as an economic agent as strong as gold, oil or money itself.

Gartner defines big data as follows; “high volume, velocity and variety information assets that demand cost effective, innovative forms of information process for enhanced insight and decision making.

So with the prediction that nearly 3 billion people will be online pushing the data created and shared to nearly 8 “zettabytes”, how do companies decide which data will offer them the insights and choices to determine their strategy and leverage their competitive advantage?

So what does this mean for leaders in business?

Although there is strong argument that algorithms will rule over instinct Dr Dave Norton, renowned for his balanced approach to measure the effectiveness of business methodology, strongly urges a combination of left and right brain thinking where leaders blend their intuitive insights with structured disciplined methodologies including using big data to test the relationships of their hypotheses and assess how this will enable transformational change. On his recent visit to South Africa, Professor Dave Ulrich recognised the value of information as a fundamental capability, but highlighted further that this capability is less about the information and more about insight and impact. He says leaders need to collect data to make informed choices. This is key to overcoming “data analysis paralysis”.

Dr Dave Norton and Professor Dave Ulrich concur that the data mined must offer relevant insights. Bill Schmarzo, the moniker “Dean of Big Data” and Author of Big Data: Understanding How Data Powers Big Business, suggests that your Balanced Scorecard could define your navigation choices in terms of which information is relevant to your strategy.

To illustrate this, he aligned his big data requirements with his Balanced Scorecard key metrics. This is his big data determinant on one key metric.

Metric: Secure 87.M in New Accounts

Big Data Impact Examples:

  1. Improve forecasting model predictability by modelling each individual deal (and components of the deal) taking into consideration sales team selling capacity (number and strength of deals in their forecast), sales team behavioural tendencies (selling products vs solutions), industry product buying trends and sales team track record with similar new name accounts
  2. Leverage text mining capabilities to analyse the call notes captured by the account development organisation to assess strength of industry solution opportunity; benchmark every NNA opportunity against similar successful and unsuccessful NNA engagements.
  3. Measure the effectiveness of sales and marketing campaigns to drive new NNA opportunities into the pipeline
  4. Flag any change in the sales team comments that might indicate a change in deal status.

SOURCE: Big Data and The Balanced Scorecard Framework | Bill Schmarzo Part 1,11 & 111 December 2013

In 2014, BRG & GIBS will present Dr Dave Norton – Live and in Person: Executing Strategy: Balanced Scorecard Essentials. The 2014 programme includes the latest findings and experiences in strategy, measurement, leadership, human capital and cross functional priorities and solutions.

Dr Dave Norton has most recently been honoured by Thinkers 50 in their Hall of Fame sharing this acclaim with Tom Peters, Warren Bennis, Howard Gardner, Charles Handy, Philip Kotler, Henry Mintzberg, Kenichi Omae, Ikujiro Nonaka and his colleague Professor Kaplan, for their mammoth contribution to business management and leadership. Harvard Business Review recognised the Balanced Scorecard as one of the most influential management ideas in the past 75 years.