The Great Data Adventure

Who doesn’t love an adventure? Exploring and discovering are filled with mystique and intrigue. That’s part of why I love living here in Idaho. Within minutes of my home we have rivers, trails, mountains, lakes, and slopes begging for our quests to experience and learn from our natural surroundings.

One of my bucket-list items is to climb Idaho’s highest peak, Mt. Borah. I’ve done my research and know it is possible to accomplish on a do-it-yourself basis. There are dozens of articles and books with instructions and advice. However, there have also been fatalities on the same climb. That gives me pause as I expect to have others along for the journey. With so many factors outside of my control, and so much at stake, I’ve decided to take a guide. Joining us is a friend who has already completed the climb successfully. He is our “success insurance”.

The Great Northwest USA seems to attract those adventurers like us. Not surprisingly, so does the data and analytics industry. Hidden in all those 1’s and 0’s are insights that, when discovered, provide valuable business direction and improve decision-making processes. What a fun industry!

However, just like in the outdoors, in any data project there are certain dangers to avoid. It is often said that most data projects ultimately fail. Those who trust us with their data need us to deliver solutions quickly. However, missed opportunity, inexperience, poor technology selections, improper planning, and wasted spending all can culminate in doomed solutions and unhappy customers despite our best intentions and diligent efforts.

Then how can we mitigate those risks? How do we buy “success insurance” for our data? I suggest hiring a “data adventure guide”. Someone who has already experienced significant successes and even endured a few failures will bring a wealth of wisdom to your team. Just like a mountain or river guide can steer you clear of the hazards in the outdoors, an experienced data professional will know what works and what to avoid. The cost of that ‘experience’ without a guide in the outdoors could be permanent…even fatal. Similarly, isn’t your data project worth the investment in adding someone who has been there before? Their anecdotes should outline warnings about failures not to repeat, and they will advise your team on what technologies and strategies regularly lead to success.

Opportunity awaits, with time and dollars at stake. Go boldly into your next data adventure, but first take out a “success insurance” policy and bring along a guide.

About the author

Michael Magalsky is Principal Architect at infoVia and enjoys The Great Data Adventure almost as much as The Great Outdoors. He lives with his family in Boise, Idaho and consults and speaks globally on data architecture and security.

About infoVia (http://info-via.com)

infoVia is a group of agile-minded, experienced data professionals with the know-how and sense of urgency to help your organization rise from the over-abundance of technologies and methodologies to produce a real, live solution to your data and analytic challenges.