Making Big Data *Actionable*


We all know the 2015 buzzwords: “Big Data”, “Analytics”, “Data Lake”, “Internet of Things”. All well and good.

But for every industry and business, there’s a wise Big Data saying that goes like this:

  1. (Big) Data + Analytics = Information
  2. Information + Context = Insight
  3. Insight + Actionable Systems = Desired Outcomes

You’ll notice that in the game of Big Data, the accumulation of (valuable new technology-driven) data (about your customers, about your internal efficiencies) is only the first step.

Innovation, business competitive advantage and results, only comes out of Big Data if you have Actionable Systems that can create Desired Outcomes.

The real trick, therefore, is creating within your business, actionable systems and processes that know how to take the right accumulated insights (derived from data), and put that right data into right actions at right time.

Make sure you add this 2nd step to any of your conversations around business competitiveness in today’s hyper-rich innovation, data-rich, internet-scale environment.

In researching this short post, I could find literally millions of Big Data word clouds on Google Images. But word clouds that combine “Big Data” and “Actionable Systems” or similar? Nada. Nothing. I think there’s a message there.

Interested in learning more?  I explore this 3-step concept in more detail here in a – a fully downloadable PowerPoint presentation for you to use any way you see fit. Just give me credit as the author, and go for it for yourself.

If you’re in Southwest Florida, the Suncoast Technology Forum April 21st, 2015 Healthcare Technology Executive Panel discussion luncheon in Sarasota,“Emerging Technologies Impacting Suncoast Florida Healthcare”, is entirely about this idea of how to make data actionable. I’m the moderator, see more here.

Whether is it is healthcare or any other industry, remember:

  1. (Big) Data + Analytics = Information
  2. Information + Context = Insight
  3. Insight + Actionable Systems = Desired Outcomes

I hope you find this helpful. If you do, connect with me, find me on Twitter:

Sources: IBM is who I’ve seen as a major propagator of this concept:


John Sing, Offering Evangelist, IBM Spectrum Scale, ESS, DeepFlash


Internet Scale Architectures and Inspiration

Here’s a few of my other favorite IT industry sources that I visit for research and inspiration modern 2015-style Internet Scale architectures, hyper-paced Lean Startup methodologies, and more: :  really see what internet-scale IT architectures / technologies look like : wide variety of up-to-date technical topics

UK Register on Storage:  often bluntly refreshingly honest UK based IT website :  IT data center infrastructure

GigaOm :   this website recently shut down (commentary here) – but while it was up, it was one of the best for the leading headlights of where technology was going

Here are some overview tutorials that I’ve built for my conference speaking,  that detail various Internet-scale IT foundational concepts,  agile Lean Startup methods, digital customer journey, and other foundational concepts:

Overview of Google’s Introduction to Warehouse Scale Computing – how commodity-based enterprise IT is built, Google’s rationals.  Foundation concepts for all internet-scale IT architectures.

Big Data – a 2014 chart deck describing how Big Data fits together into today’s world

Customer Decision Journey – the foundation concepts for today’s mobile / social digital customer marketplace

Disruptive Innovation – a 2012 discussion detailing Clayton Christensen’s landmark Harvard Business School work

Lean Startup methodologies – What any business can learn from the best of today’s Silicon Valley startups –

Holistic, humanistic business perspectives that will change forever the way you approach business :  Simon Sinek, one of these talks is the 3rd most popular TED talk of all time

Finally, to get a real good sense of how far we’ve come, and how fast we’re moving…..

Watch the iconic, historic, hugely entertaining May 2007 Steve Jobs – Bill Gates panel discussion on Youtube

It was May 2007.  The iPhone had been announced but not yet delivered.  Be amazed at far we’ve come.


These are some of my classical favorites – hope these are helpful.

John Sing