Alephant works with you, using the Hortonworks Big Data scorecard to benchmark your Big Data-readiness before consulting on what changes need to be made, and uses this to measure progress against established goals and industry standards.
The Hortonworks Big Data Scorecard looks at Awareness (of Big Data), Exploration (of what Big Data can do for your business), Optimization (of existing methods and systems ahead of adopting Big Data), Transformation (of the business through the use of existing and Big Data techniques).
In the case of start-ups and businesses where the need for Big Data is an open question, we use a questionnaire based on Bernard Marr's "S.M.A.R.T. Data" approach ahead of the Hortonworks score-card. You can also get a good summary of Bernard Marr's approach from his blogpost at Hiscox.