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10 Phrases That Kill Big Data Projects
What are the 10 dangerous phrases and mindsets that CIOs need to refute? You’re about to find out. The phrases can also undermine big data projects – especially in organizations where emerging chief data officers (CDOs) face entrenched, risk-averse leaders who fear change. Here’s the top 10 risky phrase list from Gartner, along with Information Management’s big data perspectives mixed in.Image: iStock
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1. “We Tried That. It Doesn’t Work.”
This is especially dangerous amid the mobile, social, cloud and big data waves. If you “tried” certain approaches between 2008 and 2012, Gartner notes, your “experience” may have involved immature platforms or incomplete technologies. Fast forward to the present, and those platforms or approaches may deserve a second look.Image: iStock
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2. “Digital Is Really for the Younger Generation”
In some cases that may be true. But often, the older generation holds all the power at the CXO table. And someone at that leadership table – regardless of age and experience – has to push the digital agenda forward, especially when it comes to data management.Image: iStock
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3. “Ideas Are Easy. Execution Is Hard.”
When you manage larger and larger departments, you may push for documented processes while downplaying creative ideas. At some point, creative folks – who have new ideas on how to gather, manage and analyze data – may feel silenced before heading for the exits.Image: iStock
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4. “Even Google Canceled Its “20 Percent” Time.”
In Google’s early years, engineers had 20 percent free time to pursue their own projects. Gradually, as Google got bigger, that free time shrank. But it hasn’t disappeared. Free time is part of Google’s DNA… and it often triggers new innovations around mobile, social, cloud and big data.Image: iStock
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5. “Only Silicon Valley Startups Do That.”
Contrary to that statement, multiple industries – music, books, cars, cigarettes -- have all been disrupted by Silicon Valley-style technology business innovation techniques -- many of which were not developed in Silicon Valley.Image: iStock
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6. "You Need Experience First.”
Many of the most valuable innovation ideas come from fresh eyes — either new hires or young people, Gartner notes. If you require "time served" before letting those people propose or try things, you are throwing away a great resource, the research firm adds.Image: iStock
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7. “Corporate Won't Like It."
Sometimes, upsetting the corporate apple cart is the best way to drive innovation forward. In the big data world, a quick and dirty “proof of concept” project can win over corporate skeptics before they even have a chance to object to your efforts. Image: iStock
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8. "We’re Not In That Business.”
The next time someone in your company utters that phrase, ask yourself: When Apple launched, was the company in the phone, app, cloud and wearable device markets? Going forward, every company needs to be in the data business to help drive better business decisions.Image: iStock
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9. “We’ll Put That on the List for Next Time.”
The more that your employees hear that phrase, the more they’ll realize that “next time” never really comes. If forward-looking data projects never get discussed or implemented, your best data scientists may head for the door.Image: iStock
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10. "Fast Follower Has Proven Best.”
Sure, being a first mover in a specific market can be high-risk. But sitting back and trying time a market move can backfire – leaving your organization too unresponsive to grab even second or third place in a specific niche, Gartner notes.Image: iStock
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Encore, Encore
Want to see additional slide shows? Check out Information Management’s Gallery section. Special thanks to Gartner for its “10 phrases” list, which Information Management applied to the big data market.Image: iStock

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