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Roundup of September news articles

Paul Newman Archive

The mass appeal of the big data movement is still spreading, expanding to meet new groups of business leaders in new sectors. Every day, more executives are discovering that they can improve their operations by gathering more customer data and analyzing it to find meaningful, actionable conclusions.

This forward progress isn't stopping anytime soon. September was another banner month for the analytics movement, as organizations across the world stepped up their attention to the growing potential of new technology. Here's a look back at the month that was.

Data-driven recruiting
One new way that companies are finding to utilize big data: improving their recruiting efforts. According to a report this month in Inc. magazine, data-driven processes could have a profound effect on companies' interviewing and hiring practices.

"A simple test could help identify better candidates for jobs," said Nathan West, director of analytic products for Evolv. "[For example], employees who scored higher on tests of 'willingness to adopt new technology as well as technical proficiency ... actually stayed 17 days longer, missed 15 percent less work, and adhered to schedule much better when they were at work."

Companies have found data analysis to be a far more reliable strategy in recruiting than subjective intuition. With this knowledge, they can make far better hiring choices in the years ahead.

Doctors demand quality
Healthcare is another area where data analysis can be a tremendous boon, but there's one problem - physicians and nurses are worried about data quality. According to Nursing Times, the health industry needs to rid its data clusters of errors to ensure quality care.

"Data quality can be defined as data that is timely, complete, accurate, consistent and meaningful," stated Anne Cooper, clinical informatics adviser for nursing at NHS England. "We need to ensure the quality of our data when we record information about what we do. We should be recording consistently, accurately and avoiding duplication."

Quality data in healthcare is essential - without it, lives might be put at risk.

A jolt of energy
The energy industry has a similar need for higher-quality data. Power companies are looking to use their resources as efficiently as possible, and that means no wasted energy on the part of businesses or individuals.

According to The Times Union in Albany, this has been an ongoing problem for public and private organizations. Take it from Mark Mitchell, director of internal energy audits for New York's state government, who said he had "major concerns."

"There doesn't seem to be a respect and understanding of the importance of not just going in and making willy-nilly changes to the database," Mitchell told the newspaper.

Without quality data in energy, power providers are in serious trouble. Wasting resources isn't helping anyone.

Getting the scoop
Big data can also have a tremendous effect on the media. Newspapers, broadcast networks and other media outlets rely on PR firms to deliver them compelling topics, and advanced data analysis could help them figure out what topics matter most to today's consumers.

"If there was a PR utopia, it would look something like this: Businesses would send journalists timely, interesting stories. Journalists would receive an ongoing supply of quality information," said TrendKite CEO Matt Allison, according to VentureBeat. "Readers, in turn, would grow enthusiastic about brands, turning media coverage into a conduit for sales and investor interest. But, we do not live in a PR utopia."

Luckily, data can move us in that direction. Media outlets and PR agencies can help determine the best strategies for meeting readers' demands.

In September, a multitude of new industry leaders discovered the need for data quality and improved analytics. October will likely bring more innovation still.