Pierre DeBois

Big data development startups can learn from the big enterprises

Pierre DeBois - founder of Zimana, a small business digital analytics consultancy

Pierre DeBois – founder of Zimana, a small business digital analytics consultancy

One trend that startups should pay attentions to is how long established firms in other industry verticals are leveraging expertise. Startups can learn from industry leaders who have seen unique implementation challenges and solutions.

I wrote about one example in an All Analytics post on Sears. For a number of years, Wall Street analysts questioned the value of Sears. Its stores were considered out of step with the digitalization of the consumer retail experience. Even the value of store locations was questioned because many of them were in malls with declining retail traffic. But Sears had been developing its operations efficiency through using Hadoop, an open source noSQL database.

The result of Sears’ dabbling in the database lead to the launch of Metascale, a consultation subsidiary that helps other retailers improve their Hadoop implementation and administration. Time will tell if Metascale changes Sears’ image with Wall Street analysts, but the subsidiary introduced a revolutionary business model for retailers – The concept of consulting based on their industry experience. This is not a sole example. Think Amazon and how it scaled its warehouse operations and databases and you can see what can be possible when your startup scales properly with an eye on data (and particularly, big data).

Seeking consulting service may not be available to a startup in its early years, but startups can monitor how these companies leverage innovation within the resources. Three ideas that can be thought for strengthening a startups value:

  • The right experience is necessary to branding as well as credibility by customers. That experience comes from serving a particular industry with a specific solution for a length of time. This approach modifies the widely-stated entrepreneurial axiom “fail fast, learn fast” – startups should judge the utility of the technical experience they gain from their venture.
  • Choose an architecture on which administration experience can be scaled. The experience gained can lead to developing complimentary solutions. And if the axiom “fail fast, learn fast” has to be applied to a solution that is not accepted in the marketplace, the lessons can be a mean to establish industry leadership.
  • In fact some researchers suggest that upheaval in the consultation industry is eminent. In a Harvard Business Review article, Clayton M. Christensen, Dina Wang, and Derek van Bever noted an analytics example that suggests smaller, newer players with analytic solutions and analysis capability will disrupt establish consultancies.

Maybe the next player is your startup as it adapts the best aspects of big data into its business model.

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