I've worked on the periphery of the Big Blue Digital team for some time, but recently made the decision to roll my own business into Big Blue Digital and commit myself 110% to the vision of this business.
After completing 2853 client tasks over 6 years, launching over 40 client websites and managing over a million dollars in Google Adwords campaigns, I couldn't make the leap without being completely sold on the business' direction, vision and team.
From the time I first met Brendon, and as I was introduced to the wider Big Blue Digital team, I could see how much this business values innovation and agility.
I could see that they have developed a strong thesis for how businesses should evolve to meet changing expectations in the digital world.
It’s an approach that has not just ensured the business is still operating after 17 years, but growing.
Lessons in smart business
One of the most immediate things you notice about this business - as an outsider - is the way information was shared around the office.
Not, like other work environments I’ve been in - via emails or memos - but via screens, dashboards and daily stand-up meetings that speak to these. Business information like key project priorities, social media rankings and individual workloads were shared, creating an environment where any potential issues are made visible to be considered and problems solved.
If anything, I’ve seen this approach evolve rather than contract over time.
I once asked Brendon (O’Sullivan, CEO and Digital Business Analyst) why he started down this path, and he told me that he really enjoyed the idea of building something that made businesses more efficient and competitive.
This, I realised, was our mission.
We aren't just another a web, tech or marketing company.
We exist to help businesses be smarter, we just happen to use web-based systems to do it.
Getting agile with big data
In the digital world, success is driven by efficiency.
In marketing, you need to get to the right customers in the right place at the right time, cutting through the clutter.
In management, you need to be agile and able to make big decisions fast - or faster than your competitors.
This efficiency and agility in both cases are enabled by data.
Being truly data-driven means that evidence sits at the centre of all decision making, it becomes part of the daily activity of a business, not just something considered in monthly metrics meetings or when reporting time rolls around. Business Intelligence enables the embedding of data in the everyday.
And we aren't the only ones to think so.
Global IT consultancy firm Infosys released a report at the World Economic Forum in January 2016 showing that 18 out of the 25 most in-demand skills in Australia were in the STEM, data and data-driven marketing areas.
This has been one of the biggest - and most exciting - learning curves for me. I've worked independently with clients for quite some time. The way that data is used within Big Blue Digital to help aid and communicate team progress and efficiencies, and how that positively influences the culture of the business, is staggering.
Seeing the impact it has here has made me realise that there is a world of opportunity that many businesses are missing out on.
You need to look at
your the right data. You need to make it accessible.
Greatness lies in evidence-based decision making.
Scale and improvement
Business Intelligence (I reccomend reading Brendon's take on Business Intelligence here), along with big data and data governance, has risen as a buzz word in the last few years.
Collating and interrogating ‘data about data’ has been a feature of any smart business well before now, but technological advances have enabled speed and scalability, and given companies a tangible edge over their competition.
In many original iterations, this work was about internal teams securing, collating and analysing data for (often siloed) management. The ability to better scale systems has enabled a more end-to-end approach to data analysis and management.
Because of how it was sectioned and managed, Business Intelligence often fell to IT teams, and the information reported wasn’t always in the form that decision makers from other areas of the business needed. The role of a company like Big Blue Digital then, in a process like this, is to support and bridge the gap between the end user, great design, the IT and security, and the information itself.
For those interested, check out the services we offer related to analytics and Business Intelligence for a more detailed breakdown of what this means to us.
The new big data world sees companies maintain control of their systems and information, with applications built on the top, mindful of security and the way that BI can transform internal systems and culture.
Especially when considering our marketing services, taking a more data-driven approach is incredibly exciting, in terms of knowing exactly what is (and what isn’t) working, and adapting approaches in an agile way.
The definition of smart business will continue to evolve but at the moment, from what I can see, the smartest business is the one that keeps up with change, collects information quickly, and seamlessly integrates that with decision-making.
We're so committed to working with like-minded businesses, that we've even structured our partnerships and contracts around maintainging agility and evidence-based approaches.
Yes, it was hard to stop operating The Bowery.
But this evolution is something I really believe in.
As the team at Big Blue Digital say, we are tomorrow, and we can take you there too.