Project Management

Adding Value with Big Data Projects

PMI Toronto Chapter

Bruce is the founder of, a resource for growing IT project managers.

Improving our lives through better data--it’s an exciting prospect. Better insights and analysis lead to better decisions. As leaders, we have the responsibility to understand this trend and evaluate whether it will add value to our organizations. Technology research company Gartner defines Big Data in the following terms:

high-volume, high-velocity and high-variety information assets that demand cost-effective, innovative forms of information processing for enhanced insight and decision making.

For greater context, let’s consider a few highlights regarding Big Data that have surfaced over the past few years:

  • In 2011, research firm Gartner describes the three Vs driving the Big Data trend: volume, velocity and variety.
  • Over 1,500: Number of books listed in the Amazon category “Databases & Big Data” as of May 2015.
  • The convergence of Big Data and the Internet of Things: Many consumer products (e.g. Apple Watch, fitness tracking devices and more) collect and produce data. In 2015, the opportunity will be to extract value from these devices.
  • Big Data remains an unexploited opportunity. Gartner has reported that 85% of Fortune 500 companies are not able to use Big Data to achieve competitive advantage.
  • Talent Shortage: By 2018, consulting firm McKinsey estimates that the United States will lack 140,000 skilled …

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