Big Data Struggle
If you regularly follow business news, no doubt you’ve encountered several articles about “big data.” In case you haven’t, “big data” refers to the vast amount of data that organizations collect and store about customers, sales and more. The promise of the information industry is that organizations can more effectively capture and leverage a lot of useful data. A recent article on BusinessWeek.com (Big Data Gets the Algorithms Right but the People Wrong) estimates that “…90% of the information in the world today has been created in the last two years alone.”
That promise has only been partly realized. As the information industry matures, most organizations have yet to figure out how to leverage this “big” reservoir of data. Not only is it big, collected information often includes unrelated data from different sources in different formats. So what makes “big data” a big problem for most organizations is…what do we do with it? How do we get valuable information and insights from our data?
The first place to start is at the end…what do you want to know and how will you use that information? Do you want to develop a model of the “perfect customer” in order to find to profile prospects? Do you want to uncover sales triggers that can be optimized in your sales processes? Answering questions like these helps to define a strategy for diving in to a pool of big data to find the most valuable insights…insights that can be acted upon. After all, data is only as valuable as the insights and direction it provides.