Think about it: you’re checking in for that international flight across an ocean, connecting through a busy hub somewhere.
Your suitcase is weighed and given a tag. This tag contains some basic information:
- Where it needs to go.
- When it needs to be there.
- Who it belongs to.
As you leave the check-in area, make your way through airport security, and finally to the gate, your suitcase has already started its own complex journey down a maze of conveyor belts, security scans, luggage carts and baggage handlers – not at just one, but in this scenario, at three airports.
It’s no wonder there’s a potential for lost luggage. Yet thankfully more often than not most passengers are reunited with their luggage at their destination.
The positive outcome – in this case, your checked belongings arrive with you – depends on how the data on the luggage tag is processed by the airport’s intricate systems. Each scan of that tag along it’s journey through the system results in a decision on what needs to happen to it next. The workflow of the systems required to get that suitcase from point A to B to C is mind-boggling.
I find that fascinating.
Using checked luggage as an example, it’s hard imagine how just three bits of data can result in such a positive customer experience and desired outcome. We tend to take it for granted. The keys to success are the processes and supporting infrastructure that create that experience and outcome. And the four imperatives of successful big data implementations are: data preparation, data analytics, data management, and the supporting infrastructure.
The Bigger Data edition of Unleashing IT goes into the latter: how your organization can achieve desired outcomes with the right data preparation, data analytics, and data management tools in place, supported by a solid and well integrated infrastructure.
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Let’s face it, whether you’re just starting your journey or returning from one, you haven’t truly arrived until you and your suitcase pass through customs together..