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Is Big Data a Big Deal?

LotsOfDataThere’s plenty of talk about “Big Data.” The term has even been used on the TMA blog, simply because it is a recognizable term to those who may only just be becoming cognizant of the sorts of capabilities that are available. But the term itself is actually little more than a piece of clever marketing hype.

In fact, it implies that “lots” of data is the most important piece of the puzzle. Unfortunately, generating lots of data isn’t really a problem for anyone. Almost every organization is positively drowning in “big data.” Most organizations record the details of almost every transaction. The trick, of course, is knowing what to do with all of this data once you have it.

And believe it or not, the amount of data doesn’t always matter in terms of gaining actionable insight. In fact, 98% of the data that most organizations collect won’t have any meaning for the questions that are relevant to making their business better. The answers can usually be found in a much smaller set of data.

How your team gets that data, prepares it, transforms it for use and works with it is of far greater importance than the size of that data pile.

Remember, the goal is always to gain actionable insight into  a pressing business problem.

Certainly, there are going to be challenges involved with properly warehousing all of the data appropriately, but that’s more of an IT challenge and isn’t necessarily important to deriving real business intelligence.

This is one of the issues that came up during a Q&A in TMA’s most recent free webinar. If you’d like to get a better understanding of what it will take to handle your data the right way then register now for the next session of Data Mining, Failure to Launch.

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