How Big Data Digitalizes Decisions

April 15, 2015

Contributor: Heather Pemberton Levy

Big data gives organizations the opportunity to transform their products, services and customer experience models.

Many people travel to Walt Disney World Resort to enjoy exciting rides, gracious staff, and sunny Florida weather. What happens when the Internet of Things (IoT) digitizes decisions for the customer? We can imagine a scenario in which Disney can use its wrist-band device to suggest nearby water when the temperature is high and a customer hasn't visited a concession stand in a specific period of time.

Essentially, things become agents for themselves, for people and for businesses. The added connectivity, communications and intelligence of things will make many of them agents for services that are currently requested and delivered through people.

Automating Judgment

As the presence of the Internet of Things (IoT) such as connected devices, sensors and smart machines grows, the ability of things to generate new types of real-time information and to actively participate in an industry's value stream will also grow. Customers, employees and citizens will become engaged principally through digital means. As operational processes become digitalized, traditional analog and manual processes will be automated, including both physical and human elements.

According to Richard Hunter, vice president and Gartner Fellow, many, if not most, decisions will be algorithmic, based on automated judgment.

“ Think of automated farming that plants seeds, water and fertilizer in a field based on weather, soil moisture and acidity, and a range of other factors, using GPS-based positioning that ensures spatial accuracy to within a few centimeters.”


Identify Information Sources

Business leaders should expect competitors to have begun making plans to digitalize most existing processes, products, and services, or inventing new ones — achieving new levels of efficiency and introducing new revenue streams. To seize these new opportunities, business and IT leaders need to collaborate more closely and frequently to identify existing and new internal and external information sources.

These will enhance or eliminate existing processes, enhance or replace existing products and services, and be forged into new products or services. Remember, in a digitalized world, a product is not a one-time purchase; it is the start of an experience that evolves over time, causing enterprise leaders to change multiple aspects of business models.

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