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Let’s summarize where we are.

The first phase is proof of concept. It usually takes 1 to 3 months. The objective is to prove the hype. Can big data technology actually deliv- er an order of magnitude improvement over traditional technology?

The second phase is research and development. It is usually 3 to 6 months in duration. The objective is to learn how to build a big data solution as a team. The third phase is first production. It usually takes another 3 to 6 months beyond research and development. The objective is to move the solution from beta to a proper production system that business users can rely on.

We had several objectives in this short playbook. We wanted to show you how to get started with big data. We wanted to layout what the first 12 critical months or so will look like and how to be focused and successful in that short period of time. We wanted to give you a simple step by step guideline to get moving now and know where you are going.

I hope that we have achieved those objectives for you.

These first three phases in 12 months or so are just the beginning. Once you have completed the phases described in this book you will be ready to begin building an enterprise big data platform - an infrastructure for the whole company to use.

Big data is just a means to a much bigger end goal: to become a data driven enterprise. You want your firm to evolve to a higher level of analytics, from descriptive to diagnostic to predictive to prescriptive. You want to reach prescriptive analytics, the ability to answer how to make something happen. You want to close the gap from data to decision to action.

Becoming a data driven enterprise is not a technology change; it is a culture change empowered by a technology change. The technology is not enough. It is not a “build it and they will come” scenario. Without leadership, training, incentives and all the other aspects that make culture change, the technology investment will never meet its full potential.

Finally, not to be too cliche, big data is a journey, not a destination. You will never be done. The technology itself is changing constantly. The change itself is accelerating. The opportunities for change are constantly expanding.

So go and get started. And let us know how we can help.