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IB Pitchbook – Competitive Environment

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Written by

CFI Team

Published January 19, 2023

Updated June 27, 2023

Competitive Environment

When framing an M&A transaction discussion, it would be remiss to not bring up the main competitors in the industry and assess the existing competitive environment, specifically the steps they are taking to remain viable themselves. There are many reasons to benchmark a company against its competitors, whether it is to display comparable valuations, find similarities in strategy, or compare lines of business.

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Comparable Valuations

Later in these series, we will be discussing the role of comparable financial metrics analysis, but in the context of providing an overview of competitors, we are mainly concerned with valuations. If we accept the assumption that stock prices reflect expectations of future performance, and that future performance is largely predicated on management’s ability to continue executing, then we have a common basis to compare companies.

The valuation metrics will differ from industry to industry, but generally, they will be ratios that incorporate market prices. The valuations are not only useful in determining a range of values, but they also tell a story about the overall business cycle of the industry at large and provides insight into each of the rival companies’ strategies. Ultimately, these ratios should be appropriate to the peer group selected, and the group should generally be trading within similar valuation ranges. There will certainly be discrepancies in valuations, and further investigation will be required to provide an explanation to justify abnormal valuations.

Strategic Similarities

While it may be hard to deduce a company’s strategy at face value, a great place to start looking is equity research reports. Equity research analysts frequently meet with companies in their coverage list, and these analysts arguably have the strongest understanding of their companies out of anyone else in the public domain. Investment bankers often look at equity research reports for inspiration and guidance when formulating strategic alternatives for companies.

Operational Similarities

At a higher level, comparing business segments is another way to compare operations between businesses. No two businesses are exactly the same, and the smallest differences in the way a competitor may organize its business can have great implications on the overall performance of the company. For example, Hill-Rom and Teleflex are companies that develop and sell medical devices and serve the same customer segments. However, these companies differ greatly in their product divisions, which have implications on their performance. Teleflex sells equipment that is much more commoditized, while Hill-Rom is a lot more specialized. Each offers their own benefits, but despite tighter margins, a larger share of the commoditized market bodes well for Teleflex going into budget cuts across US hospitals.

There is no one correct way to perform a cross-sectional analysis of the competitive environment. And again, the way this analysis is performed in a real-world application is largely dependent on the story that the senior bankers wish to convey to management. Ultimately, the analysis of the competitive environment is very important to the pitching process and is an important basis that management teams will make decisions on.

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Senate Candidates Face Off On Environment

Senate Candidates Face Off on Environment Capuano, Coakley, Khazei, and Pagliuca square off on Comm Ave

The four Democratic candidates for U.S. Senate, at an environmental forum yesterday at BU: (from left) Congressman Michael Capuano (Hon.’09), state Attorney General Martha Coakley (LAW’79), City Year founder Alan Khazei, and businessman and Celtics co-owner Stephen Pagliuca. The event drew some 200 people. In the video below, moments of mirth were also revealed, during the question and answer period. Photos by Vernon Doucette

Michael Capuano (Hon.’09), six-term congressman, former Somerville mayor, and Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate, tried hard yesterday afternoon to persuade his audience in the Metcalf Trustee Center that his years in Washington have given him an understanding of senatorial realpolitik — unlike his opponents.

Candidate Alan Khazei, a founder of the City Year program, said his disdain for lobbyists was so great that he would refuse to meet with lobbyists even from the Sierra Club, one of the organizations sponsoring the four-candidate debate on environmental issues.

Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley (LAW’79) said she was proud to head an office that sued the Environmental Protection Agency for “not protecting the environment.”

And multimillionaire Boston Celtics co-owner Stephen Pagliuca said he would not vote for any bill that promoted greater use of nuclear power.

Two Republicans, state Senator Scott Brown and businessman Jack E. Robinson, are also running. The special state primary will take place on Tuesday, December 8, and the special election is scheduled for January 19, 2010.

Capuano appeared eager to tout his pragmatism, even if that pragmatism meant voting for imperfect legislation. Coakley pointed to achievements as attorney general: in addition to suing the EPA, her office empowered an Environmental Crime Strike Force. Khazei billed himself as a reformer, the only candidate who doesn’t accept money from political action committees or lobbyists. And Pagliuca sought to tie investment in green technologies to jobs, more than once calling for an end to the U.S. dependence on oil.

The candidates were asked if the government should be given expanded powers to overrule local opposition to renewable energy projects. Cape Wind, a proposed offshore wind farm in Nantucket Sound, has been stalled for years, the latest obstacle coming last month with objections from Native Americans.

Khazei said the federal government should have more power in such cases. “Cape Wind will provide 75 percent of the electricity for the Cape and the Islands,” he said. “It’s the equivalent of taking 175,000 cars off the road. We need to move aggressively on this.”

Capuano said local officials should have “reasonable” authority. “It always ends up that the worst items, not just windmills, end up in the poorest areas,” he said. “They never end up in the wealthiest areas. So if you take away some local control, you are dooming the poorest people in our society, the ones with the least voice, to bear the brunt.”

Pagliuca and Coakley cited the importance of local authority. But Pagliuca said the process should be streamlined. “You shouldn’t be able to delay projects for 10 or 11 years through the courts,” he said. “There has to be local control, but a finite time frame.”

“We need a centralized way to go forward to get alternative fuels,” Coakley said. “There are ways to streamline.”

A question about a climate bill pending in the Senate drew the liveliest exchange. Would the candidates vote for the bill if it includes incentives for nuclear power and offshore drilling?

It depends on what else is in the bill, Capuano said. “The climate bill I just voted for had a whole bunch of things I don’t like,” he said. “But we had to get 218 votes; we had to make the deals to make progress. We had to put nuclear power in the House bill, not because of what we wanted, but because we had to get enough votes, mostly out of the South and the Southeast.”

Coakley said she would have to study the issues before voting. “There’s still a lot we don’t know about nuclear safety,” she said. “I think nuclear can’t be off the table, but I would focus on those core concerns.”

Khazei said he is against subsidies to the nuclear industry and opposes offshore drilling. However, he said, “if Senator Kerry and Senator Reid and President Obama say this is the best we can do, I will vote for it.”

In a jab at the other candidates’ answers, Khazei said those running must be able to tell voters exactly where they stand. “People have to decide how they’re going to vote for us now.”

At that point, Capuano turned to Khazei: “So you’re telling me you’d vote for any bill — any bill — that the president told you to vote for?’’

As Khazei reiterated his position, blaming PACs and lobbyists for problems with the bill, Capuano interjected, “So you have no free will on this issue whatsoever?”

“I have free will,” Khazei answered. “But we need to get climate change done.”

During the exchange, Khazei asked Coakley if she believed the oil industry lobbyists that have contributed to her campaign will expect her to side with them.

Coakley responded that as attorney general, she has always disclosed where her donations come from, “and I’ve always made my decisions based upon the merits of the issue.”

Pagliuca said he would vote against the bill, adding that he wouldn’t subsidize nuclear power and that he would rather let private enterprise do it. “I think it [nuclear power] has to be part of the approach. But there are issues in the environment we haven’t solved with nuclear power,” he said. “We have to reduce emissions over time; we have to look at either cap and trade or carbon taxes and phase those in so they’re fair.” He said he opposes offshore drilling. “The key here is to end dependence on oil.”

In a lighter moment, the candidates were asked about their cars (Capuano and Coakley drive Ford Escapes, Khazei a 15-year-old Toyota Corolla wagon, and Pagliuca a hybrid Lexus and a 10-year-old Lexus) and their “greenest” personal habits. Coakley and Pagliuca recycle and compost. Khazei and Capuano recycle and try to be energy efficient.

The candidates also were asked about next month’s U.N. climate change summit in Copenhagen. If an international agreement to reduce carbon emissions comes out of the summit, would they support heavy taxes or tariffs on imports from countries that didn’t sign?

Capuano and Khazei said they would, “because it’s a good policy,” Capuano said.

And what if the United States didn’t sign?

“Well,” he said, “I think we will.”

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Yesterday’s debate among senate hopefuls had its moments of mirth, as the video above reveals. Video courtesy of the College of Communication

The candidates forum was hosted by College of Communication Dean Thomas Fiedler (COM’71) and sponsored by the Environmental League of Massachusetts, along with the Appalachian Mountain Club, Clean Water Action, the Conservation Law Foundation, Environment Massachusetts, Massachusetts Audubon Society, Massachusetts Sierra Club, Massachusetts League of Environmental Voters, and the Trustees of Reservations.

Cynthia K. Buccini can be reached at [email protected].

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Evaluating Student Performance In A Remote Learning Environment

While some students are fully engaged in remote learning, others are struggling to keep up. To take the pressure off educators dealing with unexpected challenges, many states waived high-stakes standardized tests last spring, and there’s a push to do the same for the 2023-2023 school year. Everywhere, K-12 districts are reevaluating their learning standards and goals, and teachers are using unique strategies to evaluate student progress — strategies that go beyond traditional assessments.

Here’s how you adapt your student assessments to a remote learning environment.

Rethinking standards and assessments

Competency- and project-based assessments

Formative assessments

Collaborative assignments

Summative assessments

Rethinking standards and assessments

Before teachers can craft effective remote learning assessments, education leaders need to take a step back and evaluate existing learning standards.

“There needs to be a reconceptualization about what assessments need to look like and what they should demonstrate,” explains Miguel Gonzales, professor of educational policy and leadership at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. “Students need to show mastery in a different way.”

To avoid problems with cheating and academic dishonesty, teachers should consider designing assessments based on projects, performances or collaborative efforts rather than rote responses. Here’s a closer look at five types of student assessments that you can adapt to remote learning:

1. Competency- and project-based assessments

Performance tasks are competency-based assessments that allow students to demonstrate their knowledge and apply their skills in realistic scenarios. Performance is typically associated with music, dance and sports, but the idea works in other disciplines with open-ended tasks that don’t depend on a single correct answer.

In a remote learning environment, a teacher might ask students to research the topography and infrastructure of an area and make recommendations about where a new resident should build a home. Using this kind of task as an assessment tool gives teachers insights about how well each student can think critically, consider multiple variables, research with technology tools and formulate a logical conclusion in a written or oral presentation. Performance tasks can also link subject areas and show students real-world ways to apply their knowledge.

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Like performance tasks, project-based assessments ask students to tackle a problem and use multiple strategies to arrive at a solution. Project-based learning (PBL) typically results in a tangible product — for example, building a simple machine or writing a song. Allowing students to create something promotes personal pride in their accomplishments, and using projects as assessments can be especially helpful during remote learning. If you plan to use a project-based assignment as an assessment, create a rubric to share with students before they begin.

2. Formative assessments

Formative assessments are designed to help teachers check in with students along their learning path. These assessments can take the form of quick, open-ended questions, verbal check-ins or group discussions. Formative assessments are a great way for students to assess their own progress, and these assessments are easily adaptable for remote learning. Google Classroom includes several tools for formative assessments, including options to create questions, quizzes and polls.

3. Collaborative assignments

Collaboration is a key skill in every career, and remote collaboration is becoming ubiquitous in today’s workforce. While students are engaged in remote learning, it’s a great time to introduce them to remote collaboration tools such as videoconferencing, messaging and document sharing. Assigning project-based assignments that depend on collaborative efforts between small groups of students can help teachers gauge students’ technology literacy, as well as their ability to work together toward a shared goal and meet a deadline.

To maximize the effectiveness of remote collaborative assignments, teachers should assign a student project manager to lead each group. Teachers should also make sure students know how to ask for help — through online messaging or through the videoconferencing app, if the class is in a meeting. Students will benefit from having a clear rubric for grading, projects that are easily broken into manageable parts and specific, team-oriented roles to play.

While hands-on collaborative projects are often difficult over videoconference, many STEM projects — from coding a game to building a robot — can be completed in a remote learning classroom. Student teams can share their finished projects with the class in a slideshow, an edited video or a live presentation.

4. Summative assessments

Most teachers are used to giving summative tests to students at the end of a chapter, unit or semester. Adapted to a remote learning environment, traditional summative assessments — with charts, multiple-choice or fill-in-the-blank questions — can still help gauge student progress.

The most obvious complication is accountability. While some apps and Google Classroom features can lock down student devices during exams, how can you be sure a student isn’t consulting their notes or looking up answers on another device? Ultimately, you can’t be sure, so more weight should be given to open-ended essay questions and project-based assessments. When the lion’s share of a student’s grade no longer hangs on summative assessments, you can take into account the wider view of their academic progress.

5. State standardized tests

Even before the pandemic made remote learning a necessity, U.S. dependence on high-stakes standardized tests had garnered criticism from some education experts. Daniel Koretz, a professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, published a book in 2023 decrying what he calls the “charade” of standardized testing in America. Koretz urges responsible use of standardized tests — as a benchmark tool to gather data and improve instruction, not as a measuring stick. Other critics point to the time-consuming nature of most state tests, arguing that they take away valuable classroom time.

The federal government excused all states from standardized tests during the initial COVID-19 lockdowns in spring 2023. The California Teachers Association urged the state to suspend the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) in 2023, citing widespread inequities in technology and broadband access among students, and concerns about data validity for remotely administered tests. Other states have granted or are contemplating similar waivers, including South Carolina, Georgia, Illinois, Michigan and Oklahoma. Even in states that have removed high-stakes requirements, though, district leaders may still choose to conduct the tests remotely rather than face a two-year gap in statewide benchmark data.

Learning how to thrive remotely

Ultimately, assessing student progress during remote learning requires creative approaches, but it is possible — and can yield long-term benefits for educators and students alike.

“We should use school closure as a momentous moment to make significant changes in how we teach with technology, and how we evaluate instruction,” says Gonzales. “It’s time to return to more project- or portfolio-based assessments that allow students to think broadly and demonstrate their achievements.”

Remote and hybrid learning is likely to stick around for years to come. Explore the breadth of Samsung’s other remote learning solutions. If you need help securing funding for your technology purchase, our free guide to securing ed-tech grants can help.

Competitive Link Analysis: How To Audit Your Competitors’ Links

Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. The saying runs so true for digital marketing that one of the first steps we complete for our clients is a competitive link audit.

Competitive analyses allow you to directly crawl your competitors’ sites to discover valuable backlink opportunities that they may be using to outrank you organically.

Backlinks remain the gold standard of SEO currency and acquiring backlinks is like becoming a miner in California during the 19th century. Websites must acquire a few links of their own to build up their organic keyword rank before they strike gold.

I’ve witnessed the evolution of link building over the past decade and it’s gotten far more difficult. Whoever said link building is a lost art?

Here’s how to conduct a competitive backlink analysis and how to identify areas where your website can earn some easy wins using your competitor’s backlinks.

Getting Started

There are a number of competitive analysis tools to choose from. My favorites include Ahrefs, Majestic Site Explorer, SEMrush, and Moz’s Open Site Explorer. (You should use multiple backlink analysis tools for a holistic analysis.)

Consider what you or your client’s objectives are when initiating a competitive audit. Are they looking to boost their domain authority, promote content, or rank for specific keywords? Often enough, all of the above.

Evaluating your trust and citation flow will identify the quality and quantity of your backlink portfolio. Both metrics use a logarithmic scale of 1-100, the latter being the highest. ‘Trust Flow’ evaluates the quality of your inbound links, while ‘Citation Flow’ evaluates the popularity of your website – typically determined by the quantity.

The average number of referring domains and your competitors’ trust flow will provide a baseline for your website to achieve through its link building campaign to scale its organic rank.

Use a tool, like Majestic, to look at your highest ranking keyword phrases, which pages are receiving the most traffic, and what your most popular pages by links are. These strategies will identify what’s successful for your website this far.

Building Domain Authority & Trust

Now let’s begin with our competitive analysis. In order to identify your competition, you could conduct a Google search of a service offered by your business.

You could also conduct a Google search for: related:“your domain name here”. A list of related businesses will appear.

Ahrefs offers the easiest method under their ‘Competing Domains’ tab and SEMrush has a similar tool. You can also look at competing webpages, as well the “content gap” between them and the competition.

Be sure to manually check out each competing webpage to see if they specialize in your niche and operate on your scale.

It’s important to track websites on your scale. A site like chúng tôi might become cumbersome to track as they gather so many backlinks daily.

Sort through each domain’s URL profile to discover:

Link opportunities from branded text URLs.

Domains that link multiple times to a single domain.

Shared links among your competitors using Ahrefs ‘Link Intersect’ tool.

Dead links.

Links with branded anchor text could open up various backlink opportunities including:

Resource pages



Guest posts


Case Studies

Links pointing to the homepage will probably align with the link building strategies above as well. Homepage links serve as a general measure of that business’s reputation and a result of their total success acquiring inbound links.

You can filter out duplicate domains and URLs to shorten your list. But you could also highlight these domains to discover sources that are linking consistently to the same website. Most likely that website will be linking toward material relevant to content found on your site. Consider reaching out to their webmaster as they may be responsive to linking to your site.

Shared links also come from industry directories and resource pages, such as chúng tôi Tools, such as SEMrush offer ways to filter links by top-level domains, which is effective for finding .edu or .gov links.

Content Audit & Promotion

Using Ahrefs ‘URL Profiler’ application you can pull all of your client’s URLs into a single document and begin an extensive content audit. You can sort your client’s content based on its total shares and backlink profile to give you an idea of what you’re doing right.

This is important because it tells you what type of content your audience engages with most, which aids in keyword research and scaling your brand.

While conducting competitive backlink audits, you can also measure your competitor’s top performing pages based on their backlink profile and by social engagement.

Type in competitor URLs into Buzzsumo or on Ahrefs to see the total number of shares they have acquired. This will tell you what they’re doing right in their content marketing campaign. These webpages will most likely outrank yours for organic keywords as well.

This method doesn’t even have to be applied to direct competitors. You could type in a keyword search and place the top 10 results into Ahrefs ‘Batch Analysis’ to discover backlink sources for these high ranking publications.

For example, if you have a niche product, such as SleepPhones, which are comfortable headphones designed to be worn while relaxing or sleeping, you may want to look into sites that discuss other sleep-related paraphernalia. Chamomile tea distributors or meditation sites may get links to the types of sites that would reference this product.

Produce a backlink profile of their highest trusted and linked to pages in Ahrefs and place a filter of ‘one link per domain’ to filter out any spam links. This will provide their highest authoritative backlinks.

You can do outreach to these publications and submit content for guest postings. Manually review these websites to see if any of them are forum pages or provide further reading examples for a topic related to your niche. Conduct the same outreach and submit a piece of content you believe will benefit their readership.

Consider searching for more guest posting opportunities by researching industry leading authors over Google and other guest posts they’ve published recently. A simple search for “author name” inurl:author will produce a complete list of posts that person is credited as an author for.

Additional Link Building Resources

Finally, Ahrefs offers a great tool for discovering competitor broken links. Begin scraping all of your competitors broken links and submit or create content that could fulfill these links. I’d recommend doing this before your competitors do.

Mainly, the point of competitive link analysis is to find highly authoritative links your competition is ranking from and to develop relationships with domains that are receptive to links.

Final Thoughts

Completing a competitive link audit will present a variety of link building resources that can be acquired naturally. The next step is developing the content to fulfill a vast reservoir of link magnets.

Once you begin to see results from this link building campaign you can begin investing in other resources at your agency or business.

SEO is the gift that keeps on giving, and once you acquire trust with search engines through qualitative backlink acquisitions, your content will be positioned to rank higher and acquire backlinks naturally moving forward.

How To Recruit Top Talent In A Competitive Labor Market

Focus on what employees value

Industry-leading companies will always be able to outbid for employees who are focused primarily on total compensation, so startups and smaller enterprises shouldn’t plan on winning bidding wars. However, smaller and more nimble companies can offer something that can be more difficult for their larger competitors to provide: flexibility.

As you consider the perks you use to lure potential employees, look for low- or no-cost benefits that employees may value highly. Employees who have grown accustomed to working from home may want to maintain that arrangement. Parents may want to take personal time in half days to attend school events without expending an entire day. Staff may want to work on cross-departmental projects to learn and grow or have a guaranteed opportunity to meet directly with company leadership to express their ideas and concerns. Employees who are thinking about retirement may want to know that their benefits package is managed by one of the expert provider firms.

In discussions with applicants, stress that you see the hiring process as a conversation rather than an offer to be accepted or declined, and encourage them to think creatively about and ask for what truly matters to them. You may not be able to give them everything they want, but at a minimum, it may remind them that working for a more entrepreneurial company can mean more flexibility and a greater focus on their needs. 

Look inward

Oftentimes, employers look outward when hiring when they could be looking at their existing talent pool instead. Your business may have junior employees who are well suited for development and promotion.

Though the stereotype is that Gen Z and young millennials jump from job to job, Ryan Jenkins, co-author of Connectable: How Leaders Can Move Teams From Isolated to All In (McGraw Hill, 2023) and founder of chúng tôi said that doesn’t need to be the case. 

“When it comes to attracting, retaining and engaging young workers, the answer is connection,” he said. “Employers have to create environments, whether in-person or remote, where workers feel seen, heard and valued. When you do that, job performance improves by 56 percent.” 

In the right environment, young employees can even become assets for recruitment. “Workers are 167% more likely to recommend their employer when they feel connected to their colleagues,” Jenkins said.

Focusing on improving employee retention rates, not just among junior employees, can be a smart strategy. A Work Institute study found that three-quarters of employee turnover is due to preventable causes and that the No. 1 reason employees leave is for career development. With this in mind, give your highest achievers, and indeed all employees you want to stick around, opportunities to sharpen their skills and move up the ladder.

When an employee asks for a raise or a new title, remember that saying “no” may necessitate replacing them, thereby creating new costs that far exceed the request. However, Jenkins stressed that money is not the only factor in keeping employees happy; it can be just as important to create and maintain the kind of culture that makes employees want to stay. “When individuals have a strong sense of belonging and connection at work, they have 313% less intent to quit,” Jenkins said.


You can track your employees’ performance and determine who might be ready for a promotion by using one of the best HR software platforms, many of which include career development tools to help coach your employees.

Another way to keep employees satisfied is to ensure that human resources functions, including payroll and benefits administration, are efficient and reliable. Working with a top-tier professional employer organization can be a cost-effective way for smaller companies to handle these tasks. When employees do leave, find out why by conducting an exit interview.

Hiring is hard, but it’s not impossible

Talented employees are the lifeblood of a successful company. With smart recruiting, hiring and compensation strategies, many of which are free or low-cost, you can separate your company from the pack and attract top talent.

5 Steps To Manage Risk In A Big Data Environment

By Chael Christopher, Senior Principal, Business Intelligence, NewVantage Partners

Not much of consequence happens without risk. As more organizations realize the value of Hadoop while they look to adopt big data into their technology portfolio, they also need to consider the inherent potential for negative consequences. Big data has opened up a whole new world of risk, but that’s not stopping — or even slowing — many businesses looking to cash in on the rewards. To balance this process, technology and business leaders should know how to manage the conversations around big data risks as well as rewards.

When viewed through the lens of risk, organizations have different classifications and considerations to own:

Data security and administration are the obvious issues that usually get the first look. But there are many technical layers for appreciating the security of your data, including:

perimeter security

data encrypted at rest and in transit

proper configuration for authentication, provisioning, onboarding, offboarding

high availability and failover

bare metal versus cloud

Who is going to manage this environment? Can you find the talent to stand up, lock down and maintain your big data stack? When new big data initiatives are launched, these questions are the first things that IT and your information security team will want to know. Be ready with the answers, and know why these things are important for securing funding and buy-in.

Is there a cost to NOT having the tools in place, like not being able to leverage your data assets? This is a new technology landscape – business analysts have to learn how to hunt for their own data. The onus for coding business rules into viable code has shifted responsibilities from process-heavy IT functions to results-oriented business units. With great power comes great responsibility, but you should trust your people and reward them with your “data first” ethos.

This is one of the biggest latent risks because it indicates that the technologies have evolved but your mindset has not. It can be like using a hammer to drive in a screw. You just spent a lot of money to recreate your data warehouse in Hadoop – and that’s not what it’s for. Understanding the differences between a data lake and a data warehouse will be important, and be ready to preach this on a daily basis.

There are vendor management implications, for sure. Maybe it would just be easier on procurement if a database just released their own big data stack? Unfortunately, that’s not how this works. Organizations need to accept that big data environments are complements to their existing technology stack, and that the new players are approaching data analytics from a different perspective.

Organizations need to understand – if not obsess about — the relationships between their big data environment and the inherent risks associated with having or not having one. Innovation will not arrive without risk, and when thoughtfully managed and understood, your organization will be better prepared to move forward.

The rewards and bounty for succeeding with big data are just now being realized. For some organizations, that means better customer service, retention or acquisition. Profits may improve by creating new, sophisticated product recommendations. For other organizations, fraud identification and prevention techniques are reducing overall costs and isolating additional risk points. All kinds of big data risk/benefit scenarios are emerging, and many companies have concluded that they are ready because they took the time to weigh the risks and convey the “whys” throughout their company. Because if you can’t assess the yield from your big data strategy, you aren’t ready to take that first, risky Big step.

Chael Christopher is senior principal and practice lead, Business Intelligence, for NewVantage Partners, a provider of data management and analytics-driven strategic consulting services to Fortune 1000 firms.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

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