Many things have been said / written about big data, e.g., definitions around a number of V’s (from three to seven) have been published, success stories, and surveys reporting a huge number of fails. What we often see is that companies tend to jealously look at the internet giants. Consequently, they try to follow them by flooding data lakes, facilitated by technology and beloved by IT.

But is it really the size that matters, or the data we should start with? For sure, driven by, e.g., digitization in all dimensions of our world, data from everything and everywhere is  “easily accessible. However, we are not the giants, we do not have that easy access, we do not have the competencies, … So we need to focus. Perhaps it is better to start rather small in an area, which we know quite well, where we can at least try to estimate the potential, and where we are able to evaluate whether we achieve the promises. Then, size is probably not the most important thing. It is more about the combination of capabilities, competencies, and processes aiming at extracting the right data and generate relevant business value out of it.

We describe our approach to strategically align big data projects with organizational goals in our recent white paper.