In today’s business world, Big Data is the hottest trend under discussion in most board rooms as decision-makers around the world try to understand how they can accurately gather, manage, analyze, and use new types of information. During the past several years, executives have concentrated on the three Vs of Big Data: volume, variety, and velocity. But there are still a few risks associated with improperly deployed Big Data initiatives, regardless of how much experience an organization has with managing large volumes of digital information.
Information Management recently highlighted some concerns that often come along with the “more is better” mantra. The truth is that companies are collecting more raw data than they can handle, sometimes introducing unexpected security, performance, and management complexities in the process. Because the volume of data under corporate control is growing so quickly, for example, organizations may need to implement advanced storage environments even if decision-makers aren’t entirely sure what information they’re collecting. In many cases, those executives are finding solace in cloud computing architectures that provide a scalable, flexible landscape with ample storage options that can keep up with the recent information explosion.
Although the issue of where and how to maintain information assets can be simplified through the use of the cloud, there’s a more important issue that should be addressed when it comes to Big Data: how to transform raw information into a business asset.
Maintaining data value
The unprecedented growth of data is not only putting pressure on storage and security resources, it’s also introducing a unique phenomenon associated with information’s rate of decomposition. Similar to the concept of supply and demand, the more resources that are supplied, the less value they inherently possess. For businesses that are aggregating massive volumes of data, this tenant means that decision-makers need to use those assets quickly before they lose their significance.
Information Management noted that the half-life of data is quickly decelerating as more resources are generated and collected. This situation has encouraged organizations to embrace analytic technologies that work in real time, or close to it, so decision-makers can convert unstructured data into useful insights as fast as possible. That process will give many firms a competitive advantage, allowing them to improve the customer experience and even predict what customers will want or do before they actually happen.
A Smart Data Collective report echoed this idea, noting that the benefits of Big Data aren’t necessarily derived from the size or amount of resources collected, but the value the information represents. The real promise of any Big Data initiative is in the fine points of how organizations use all the information now at their disposal. By quickly converting newly acquired information into meaningful insights to tailor services for specific customers, businesses can ensure their Big Data endeavors are not only effective, but will also provide long-term opportunities.
The saying “The devil is in the details” rings particularly true when it comes to Big Data. Thoroughly planned and properly executed programs will be much more beneficial to organizations than ad-hoc initiatives that aren’t capable of making use of growing volumes of information. And as more digital resources are generated, collected, and analyzed, decision-makers need be sure they have the skills and tools necessary to quickly convert those assets into data that can be used to deliver unique, differentiated products, services, and experiences that ensure long-term customer retention and business success.