Big Data is changing business culture. Do you know why?This week, Manthan interviewed Big Data influencer Mark van Rijmenam, Founder of Datafloq.

Mark is a Big Data influencer who advises organisations on how to develop their Big Data strategies and business cases. He is author of the book “Think Bigger – Developing a Successful Big Data Strategy for Your Business”, a frequent blogger and a highly sought-after international keynote speaker on this topic.

MANTHAN: What do you perceive are the most common roadblocks to successful business implementation of an advanced analytics solutions?

MARK: There are several, but the most important one is the required shift in company culture. Big data in the end is a people’s question and a company need to change its culture to a data-driven, information-centric culture. This requires people to change and change is always difficult. 


MANTHAN: You’ve mentioned that developing a big data strategy is not to be left to the IT department and have published a book “Think Bigger: Developing a Successful Big Data Strategy for Your Business” that details why. Could you share a little insight on the subject for our readers?

MARK: Yes of course, as mentioned in the above answer, Big Data is just a new technology, that offers great possibilities but in the end it is a technology that you use to gain competitive advantage.

A technology that needs to be implemented by the IT department, but it remains a strategic choice to be made by the board of a company. IT is merely supportive and not leading.

Technology needs to be implemented by IT, but it’s a strategic choice to be made by the board of a company.


MANTHAN: Do you find cloud computing and cloud analytics is helping extend the reach of predictive technologies to more organizations?

MARK: Definitely, it enables also smaller organizations who have less money to spend to gain benefits from big data.


MANTHAN: You’ve mentioned a retail success example in our recent big data round-up. Could you tell us more about this case and how the retailer was able to leverage their data effectively?

MARK: The use case I was talking about is Walmart and they are very good at this. Here is more information in an article I wrote some time ago.


MANTHAN: You’ve stated that blockchain technology will soon become accepted in different industries.  Outside of the financial industry, which other industries are beginning to explore this technology?

MARK: There are a lot of different industries that can use blockchain, basically any industry where transactions take place… which is any industry. That having said I see a lot of possibilities for real estate (buying/selling houses), health care, insurance, legal (notary services) etc.


MANTHAN: With smart machines there is a resurgence of applications that are based on unsupervised machine learning algorithms. What are your thoughts on the adoption of automated decision making processes that use predictive algorithms based on unsupervised machine learning?

MARK: That is very interesting, but there should always be human supervision at some stage in the process, otherwise things can go awkward.

A good example is two pricing algorithms of online book shops that started to bid against each other. Within minutes a book about flies cost 23 million dollar. Without human superivision at some stage in the process, this could have gone on and on.

Thank you Mark!