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Businesses should evaluate needs when turning to big data for insight

Rachel Wheeler Archive
At least 20 percent of businesses have already invested in big data solutions to take advantage of the vast amounts of unstructured data in circulation, according to a survey published by the O'Reilly Strata Conference. Marketers are looking to data to generate highly targeted campaigns that will boost ROI, lenders are tapping into the information to reduce risks and retailers are hoping greater customer insight will help them gain an edge over competitors.

Businesses looking to big data to address challenges

Many businesses are now executing plans to harness big data so they can analyze it and turn it into actionable insight. A recent study by CIO Insights reveals just how much stock firms are putting in their big data strategies as a solution to operational challenges.

Sales teams anticipate they would be able to close more deals if they were able to tap into the information, the survey found. Approximately nine in ten 10 respondents (89 percent) said representatives struggle to close deals because they can't keep prospective customers' information organized.

However, 71 percent said big data could help them in the future and 90 percent believe having access to the information via a single platform could improve performance. However, just 16 percent have solutions already in place. Perhaps more surprisingly, half didn't even know what big data was.

Big data can cause problems if not properly handled

This staggering statistic signals a problem that's arising in many markets - businesses are trying to harness big data without fully understanding its applicability. When entities move forward with their strategies blindly, they could actually be setting themselves up for problems down the road. Many businesses don't realize they have a data quality problem until it's too late, and then they have to determine the sources of the errors, reconcile mistakes and implement solutions.

Before launching an initiative and investing time and money into solutions, businesses should first identify their needs and ensure their current solutions can't achieve those aims, according to Information Management. After they know they need to tap into a new technology to reach their goals, they should know that merely harnessing the information isn't enough. They will also need to manage, secure, govern, cleanse, persist, produce and verify it to ensure it's usable and meets standards, the source explains.