Before businesses can take full advantage of the stockpiles of big data at their disposal, they need to answer a few preliminary questions.
One relates to the issue of data quality. If companies aren't able to verify the accuracy of the information they're working with, using address management solutions and other tools to purify their databases and eliminate as many errors as possible, it will be difficult for them to move forward with any analytics initiatives.
Another problem needs to be addressed, and it's one that many in the CIO community often goes overlook: Data storage is a serious issue. Once companies have performed their due diligence to gather information - whether it's on their employees, their business clients or their products' end users - they need a place to put it. For large corporations with deep coffers of data on their hands, simply using a server or a cloud computing service may not be enough. They'll likely need to invest significant time, money and energy into improving their storage capabilities.
According to Information Week, companies need to make data storage a regular part of their operations and budgets. Michael Klayko, CEO of technology investment company MKA Capital, said that businesses would be best served to treat data storage like a utility. It's much the same as electricity or water - data storage is a regular need that companies have in perpetuity, and they should plan to make regular payments each month to renew their services. By using better storage resources, companies can better equip themselves to succeed.
"Of course, storage as a utility is just a means to an end," Klayko wrote. "The ultimate answer is a single solution that will solve all the use cases a global enterprise company must deal with, whether it's mobile device access, remote access to storage devices, large file transfer, site-to-site replication, business continuity, or file sharing and collaboration with employees, clients or partners. Solutions like this are available today."
The specific methods of data storage may vary from business to business, but increasingly, the most popular method is to subscribe to cloud solutions that deploy software as a service (SaaS). Forbes recently published Gartner survey data estimating that the market for SaaS was worth $14 billion as of the end of 2012, and that figure is only increasing as technology improves over time.
Data storage is a must for every business. By making better investments in storage solutions, companies can improve their analytical capabilities.