* Take small bites. When you are ready to start delving into big data, start with a prototype and refine your processes before undertaking a major initiative. Once you have standard approaches in place that capitalize on your internal data and support consistent, streamlined business processes, take a small piece of the business and inject one or two new data sources to see if the benefits outweigh the cost and distraction. Testing the waters -- and the results -- will help you keep things under control and better assess the true potential return on big data for your business.
Certainly, big data has the potential to deliver big value. But the size of that potential and the most effective ways to exploit it are still being explored. Companies that watch, plan, and act when the time is right will be well served.
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