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Understand Big Data and how it can help businesses

Rachel Wheeler Archive
Although there is plenty of buzz surrounding the potential of Big Data for marketing, financial and other business purposes, there is much less understanding about how to capitalize on those opportunities, and about the fact that data quality will be central to achieving the vision of business intelligence.

Organizations will not only need to determine methods of parsing through their various sources of data, they will also have to develop systems for removing duplicate records, validating old files against newer pieces of information and compiling a bigger picture from all the minute details.

Studies have shown that many companies do not yet have the analytical and data cleansing capabilities to actually achieve all that Big Data promises. In an interview with the Financial Times, Doug Laney and Mark Beyer - both research vice presidents at Gartner - note that there is still confusion about what exactly Big Data is, and that there are many preconceived notions about "technology and information assets."

They advise business and IT executives to pick and choose the most appropriate areas to apply emerging data technologies and to strive for data quality in the organization.

"More data does not automatically create greater accuracy," they said in the edited interview with the FT. "In some cases, more data actually introduces such a level of noise that obscures the weaker patterns that are most valuable."