The list of advantages that big data analytics can provide seems to grow with every initiative a business tackles. From boosting efficiencies to making smarter decisions about enterprise goals, big data has brought considerable benefits to every industry leveraging it today.

While many of these perks focus around the results of an analytics project, there are still advantages to be reaped before these insights ever come to light. Working in tandem on a big data-related initiative can be a significant boon for the company as well, particularly when it comes to collaboration across different enterprise departments.

Breaking down silos with big data

For the past few years, there has been considerable hype surrounding the benefits that big data can bring, and for good reason. Companies in every industry have begun to realize how their organizations can benefit when they make the best use of their available data. What’s more, these projects are also helping to break down the silos that have traditionally existed within large businesses.

As big data continues to play a larger role in enterprise processes, these initiatives will only help to bring company departments closer together as they work toward a common goal. According to IDC, the market for big data and analytics software will continue to expand while experiencing a 50 percent boost in revenues through 2019. This will help the sector reach an expected value of $187 billion within the next three years, InformationWeek reported.

As this growth continues, many companies are realizing that marrying their collaborative efforts with their big data initiatives can help spur success across the board – and across the business itself.

“Separately, the benefits of deploying analytical tools and taking advantage of collaborative techniques are appealing for any organization seeking streamlined operational success – but the payback of merging these initiatives could be even more rewarding,” Tiemo Winterkamp wrote for Arcplan’s Business Intelligence Blog.

Informational intersects: How big data sparks collaboration

Laptop with bar chart and second person across the table with a book

Cross-company collaboration is critical, and big data initiatives can help create this kind of culture within your organization.

But how, exactly, is big data leading to better collaboration within today’s businesses? Let’s take a look at an example to better understand this growing benefit of analytics use:

Jim and Jane work within the same company, but operate in different departments. Jane, a department leader in Human Resources, doesn’t often work with Jim, who is a part of the finance department. They often work on different projects pertaining to the efforts of their own company sectors, but it isn’t common for this work to overlap. Overall, silos like this exist across the organization, and Jane and Jim aren’t the only ones experiencing this type of dynamic.

However, company executive Breanne is leading a new big data initiative that requires information from both the finance and the human resources department. This project has a goal of increasing efficiency while reducing costs – a common objective of many enterprise big data efforts. In order to achieve this, Breanne asks that both Jim and Jane not only gather specific information from their departments, but compare their findings before passing them along for further analysis.

In this way, Jim from finance and Jane from HR work closer than they have in the past, helping to eliminate the walls that formerly existed between their departments. What’s more, the cross-company collaboration doesn’t end there – data gathered by different departments is collected by an analyst in the IT sector, helping to remove additional silos.

This type of theoretical example is taking place in more and more real-world organizations today, spurring collaboration among enterprise departments across the globe.

Survey says: Collaboration success

IDG Enterprise’s 2015 Big Data and Analytics research reveals that collaboration like this is, in fact, taking place – and is involving more departments than ever before, including members of the executive team. According to IDC’s findings:

  • 52 percent of enterprise big data analytics initiatives include the company’s CIO.
  • 43 percent include efforts from the CEO.
  • 37 percent of projects depend upon work from IT or networking staff members, and another 35 percent include an IT steering committee.
  • 36 percent see involvement from the CFO.

“A collaborative approach helps ensure that nothing falls through the cracks, and no data is overlooked.”

“[W]ith big data showing the potential to create cross-function business opportunities, CEOs were the leading supporter of data-driven initiatives and CIOs were taking the strategic lead,” IDG noted in its 2015 report. “Today, the CEO is still involved, however, many individuals collaborate during the decision process.”

Benefits of cross-company collaboration

It’s no secret that big data analytics is a fast-paced process that has the potential to catapult businesses to success. However, this depends upon the speed at which a company can gather available data and analyze it for insights. After all, new data is being created every second, and it can be difficult to keep up.

However, with multiple departments working in tandem, business executives can be sure that they’re leveraging the most up-to-date details possible from sectors across the company. What’s more, a collaborative approach also helps ensure that nothing falls through the cracks, and no data is overlooked. Overall, a big data initiative that includes information from multiple enterprise departments will provide a more holistic, in-depth look at the current business process, yielding more valuable, actionable insights within its results.

Best of all, the advantages of cross-company collaboration extend far beyond a single big data project. Once initial silos are broken down and a collaborative culture exists within the company, it helps ensure employees feel comfortable to work closer into the future – no matter what department they operate within.

To find out more about how big data analytics can benefit your business, contact the experts at Aunalytics today.