Gartner Research

A Framework for Evaluating Big Data Initiatives

Published: 01 December 2014

ID: G00269189

Analyst(s): Svetlana Sicular


Interest in big data initiatives is increasing, but knowing what exactly to do is difficult. This guidance gives a framework for evaluating and justifying big data initiatives by surfacing the most productive ideas.

Table Of Contents

Problem Statement

The Gartner Approach

The Guidance Framework

  • The Evaluation Steps
  • Two Types of Big Data Initiatives: Business Extenders and Game Changers
  • Big Data Adoption Scenarios
    • Determine Your Starting Point for Big Data Adoption
  • Prework: Create Advantageous Starting Conditions for Your Big Data Initiative
    • Define Goals for Your Big Data Initiative
    • Focus on Solving Business Problems
    • Align the Four Pillars of the Digital Enterprise
    • Get Ready for Big Data Technology Challenges
  • Step 1: Business Relevance Filter
    • Identify Relevant Use Cases for the Big Data Initiative
    • Determine a Type of a Business Initiative
    • Typical Business Drivers for a Big Data Initiative
  • Step 2: Technology Filter
    • Apply Technology-Filtering Process
    • Typical Technology Drivers for a Big Data Initiative
  • Step 3: Economic Viability Filter
    • Evaluate Economic Viability
    • Follow a Big Data Justification Process
    • Include People and Process in Your Evaluation
    • Factor in Commercial Backing for Open Source
  • Step 4: Proof-of-Concept Filter
    • Prove Business Value
    • Prove Technology
    • A POC Approach
  • Follow Up

Risks and Pitfalls

  • No Distinction Between Business-Extension and Game-Changing Initiatives
  • Lack of Planning for Reuse
  • Unclear Hardware Requirements
  • Security
  • Entrenchment in the Inflexible Enterprise Architecture
  • Organizational Barriers to Success
  • IT and Business Disconnect
  • Neglected Information Governance, Risk and Compliance
  • Organizational Resistance to Change
  • Poor Analysis of the Business Case
  • Wrong Assumptions

Related Guidance

Gartner Recommended Reading

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