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Businesses can't let big data's size overpower data quality and usability

Paul Newman Archive
Most companies have heard about the advantages of big data. Many are excited about the prospect of trading their intuition-based strategies for 'Money-ball' tactics that cement decisions in data-driven support. However, if businesses get caught up the vastness of the content they are collecting, storing and sorting, they may never capitalize on its true potential.

In fact, some firms struggle to determine if they're investments in big data are paying off because of the size challenges. More than half of marketing teams surveyed in a study by the Columbia Business School reported that they couldn't successfully track the return on their investments because of internal silos that prevent cross-department communication.

Big data by nature demands more than one set of hands, according to Marketing Pilgrim. It is defined by its immense scale and offers companies access to their untapped potential because they are only just beginning to acquire the tools they need to process it.

The source likens this to creating a list of all the students enrolled in one elementary school and sorting it by various criteria, such as age, gender and birth dates. The big data version of this would be to compile a list of all the students in schools across the United States, and using that record to extract insight about trends and correlations. It's easy to see how those lists could become difficult to manage and analyze if the data quality is suffering because stakeholders aren't sharing or communicating.