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Big data success involves finding the gems and ditching the duds

Rachel Wheeler Archive

As a result of the buzz that started in 2012 and carried over into the new year, most companies are aware of big data and the potential benefits it can offer their organizations. However, other studies are emerging that show adopters aren't leveraging information to the best of their advantages because they are collecting too much. More than 7 in 10 decision-makers that participated in the Business Application Research Center (BARC) Big Data Survey 2012/2013 said that the information in their databases was growing exponentially and they needed to gain control of it.

If adopters don't have strong data quality measures in place, they may be using incorrect and inaccurate information in their efforts to find valuable gems of insight. 

"There's a tendency with big data to say, 'Mmm, I just want more data,'" Joe Rospars, CEO of Blue State Digital, told Fast Company. "But basically everyone already has too much data, and the question is how to use it and integrate it within your organization."

Identifying specific goals is one of the first steps to big data success. Some of the gems that companies commonly hope to find are methods for increasing efficiency, improving marketing campaigns, creating better relationships with customers and enhancing IT security through fraud prevention, Smart Data Collective adds. Those are often considered to be the "sexier" aspects of big data, but the road to achieving those aims is less thrilling and more practical, according to Info World. 

When people think about big data, they tend to limit their perspective to exploratory data science sandboxes and production applications, the source explains. The outcome is actually dependent upon a longer process that involves address management programs and other tools that can aggregate, match, cleanse and merge data to remove bad or irrelevant content. Only after these steps is the data funneled to analysts who can spot the gems.