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Big data incorporates human insight (and errors) into business intelligence

Paul Newman Archive
Big data has attracted a vast amount of attention because it allows businesses to take new information into account that could lead to better decisions and greater success in the long run. Whereas companies used to rely solely on structured data that was generated by computers, they can now tap unstructured content that's been created by humans as well, according to CMSWire.

It may not seem like an exciting business intelligence prospect to harness customers' opinions and habits because that information has always been around, but the ability to pair it with structured content and identify unforeseen correlations does present new opportunities that are grounded by data instead of driven by gut instinct, the source adds.

For instance, big data can help car manufacturers design models that will delight customers with features that accommodate their exact preferences. Harvard Business Review gives the example of Toyota customers who are vegans, drink four cups of coffee per day and regularly get their cars washed.

Using this information about customers can help companies gain a better understanding of their needs and desires, but they must take into account that like all things human, the data is prone to errors. Businesses can use data quality tools to cleanse the data they have collected and ensure their data plans don't turn into big mistakes.