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Companies can use 'smart data' to make intelligent business decisions

Richard Jones Archive

With improvements in data quality, companies can accomplish great things in the realm of customer analytics. By gathering consumer information and using verification software to double-check email addresses, postal addresses, phone numbers and more, corporations can build deep coffers of knowledge that they can in turn apply to intelligent decision-making about the futures of their enterprises.

Cloud Times recently expounded upon four trends that are likely to change the cloud computing landscape in the near future. The rise of public cloud services, the danger of malicious attacks and the growth of cloud application protection were all prominently featured. A fourth effect is the arrival of "smart data" - a new classification for quality data in the IT sector that goes one step beyond "big data." By sifting through the massive amounts of information on the internet and finding only the most relevant details, firms are making the most of their data analysis initiatives.

One problem with cyberspace, the news source explained, is the sheer volume of information out there. Every minute, the internet plays host to 204 million new email messages, 100,000 new tweets and 48 hours of new video. That's a massive quantity of data, making it impossible to filter through everything and draw any useful conclusions. For those companies that do try to work with excessively large quantities of data, they often end up rushing the process, making spurious connections between data points and jumping to conclusions that are over-general or flat-out false.

Erik Greuter, a marketer for document security software company DocTrackr, explained to Cloud Times that "smart data" is the practice of distilling large quantities of data and extracting only the most important points for businesses to apply to their everyday operations.

"This smart data is created by algorithms that can cut down data to its most important points, grading information's usefulness by its age for example," Greuter wrote. "Even without employing these algorithms, companies big and small can measure an increasingly large number of variables that actually matter to their businesses. The increase in analytics tied to website interactions, customer behavior, and even data and documents is greatly increasing business productivity."

Making better use of data has enormous value in not only the private sector, but the public one as well. According to McKinsey and Company, the United States healthcare system could create more than $300 billion in value every year by harnessing quality data, reducing overall expenditures by 8 percent.

Data quality has an impact on all organizations, public and private, but what those organizations do with their data is what ultimately matters.