In February 2016, Dave Macfie published the first two books in his Big Data for Executives series. The books are available on Amazon Kindle.
Big Data for Executives Book 1:
How to understand Big Data without getting tangled up in the technology.
First in the Big Data for Executives Series, this book positions Big Data as a major game changing strategy for medium to large enterprises in competitive markets.
The major questions addressed in the book are:
- What is Big Data?
- Why should you invest in Big Data?
- What are the returns and Benefits you should expect from Big Data?
- What do other people say about Big Data? (Industry commentators and experts)
- How big is the Big Data market?
- What is Big Data Analytics?
- What is Predictive Analytics and how will it help?
- How will you find “Diamonds” in your data?
So learn how to understand Big Data, its possibilities for leveraging your business and its potential as a major lever to your competitiveness in an ever more rapidly changing marketplace.
The benefits you will gain from this book are:
Benefit 1: An understanding of what Big Data is and why you should take it seriously.
To really exploit the Big Data phenomenon, it is necessary that you understand what Big Data is and why it is different to any other sort of data. Once you get that you can then appreciate why your enterprise should certainly be looking at it and assessing the impact it could have on your business strategy and tactics. Most importantly, you must appreciate what the down side of ignoring it could be. All these aspects are dealt with in this book.
Benefit 2: An understanding of what others say about Big Data.
It is important with any new business opportunity, to understand where that opportunity is in its maturity level. The book looks at what some industry commentators and experts say about Big Data and what companies who have invested in initiatives in this area have achieved.
Benefit 3: An understanding of how big the Big Data market is.
To give an idea of the level of acceptance and uptake of Big Data initiatives, the book looks at a number of market size estimates and forecasts. There are also a several comments on the numbers presented together with a caution or two on the usefulness of these forecasts as definitive representations of true market size.
Benefit 4: An understanding of how Data and Predictive Analytics are used to leverage the Big Data asset and bring benefits to your business.
By itself data, even Big Data, is useless – it’s not what you have but what you will do with it that is important! So you have to explore the data and find value in the relationships and connections between and amongst the data. To achieve this you need to utilize Data Analytics and Predictive Analytics so the book clarifies what and how these technologies are able to deliver when applied to a Big Data environment particularly when data modeling and data mining are correctly executed. Equally important is how you present the results of your analytics activities so the book also provides information on the topic of Data Visualization and its application. A key resource required for success is the Data Scientist. The book discusses this role and the qualities and skills that this new breed of scientist must have to ensure your success.
Benefit 5: An understanding of how to develop your creativity and Intuition, to couple with questioning techniques that will assist you in finding the “Diamonds” in your data.
The book presents various techniques to assist you in improving the skills of your employees in order to effectively “Mine” your data for valuable “Diamonds”. In this context these diamonds are new insights arising from connections or relationships within your data that you were unaware of before. Such diamonds can radically transform your ideas of how to achieve things in your business. So it is crucial to develop the creative and innovative skills of your staff, as well as their abilities to utilize questioning techniques and approaches to investigate and explore you data in new and innovative ways.
Big Data for Executives Book 2:
A Project Management approach to Big Data.
Second in the Big Data for Executives Series, this book recommends and outlines an agile project management approach to the implementation of Big Data initiatives.
The major questions addressed in the book are as follows:
- What is Agile Project Management and how does it compare with traditional approaches?
- Why is an agile approach suitable for Big Data initiatives?
- Why should you be interested in the suggested agile approach?
- What is the overall approach in summary?
- What are the steps of the approach in more detail?
- How do you manage risk using the approach?
- What is a Big Data Architecture and how will you build it?
- How do you build your skills and capabilities within the approach?
So learn how to implement Big Data as a series of initiatives of manageable size and frequent delivery of returns and benefits.
The benefits you will gain from this book are:
Benefit 1: An understanding of Agile Project Management.
To exploit the Big Data phenomenon in a way that reduces the risk, manages the delivery and produces benefits often, it is necessary that you follow a non-traditional approach to the project management of your initiatives. You cannot go into a large project that takes months or years to complete. An agile approach provides the best mix of speed and control. Agile project management is designed to reduce bureaucracy, increase speed of delivery and manage and control on tangible deliverables not paperwork. The book provides an overview of the agile approach and compares it to the traditional approach.
Benefit 2: An understanding of how to structure your approach to the projects.
It is important with any new approach that the process is broken down into a few steps that encompass all aspects of the process and its content. The book provides and explains such a process, highlighting the key aspects of each step and what its purpose is.
Benefit 3: An understanding of how to manage risk as part of the project process.
Management of risk is key to successful conclusion of any initiative, especially if the focus is on a new technology or involves significant differences in the management of the business. Both are the case for Big Data initiatives. The book looks at risk reduction during all steps in the project process and explains how to mitigate risk throughout.
Benefit 4: An understanding of how to develop your relevant skills and infrastructures as an integral part of delivery of returns and benefits.
One of the most important risk areas associated with Big Data initiatives is the worldwide shortage of the skills required to deliver on these projects. The book discusses how to manage the skills development of a core group of key people to mitigate this risk this role and the qualities and skills that this new breed of scientist must have to ensure your success.
Benefit 5: An understanding of how to build learning and improvement as part of the delivery process.
Continuous learning is vitally important in today’s rapidly changing business environment. The book outlines how this fits into the agile approach to delivery of the benefits of each initiative.
Future books in the series are being contemplated.