Big data has been a popular topic over the last few years. Many organizations have been studying big data systems and processes as well as the science behind capturing, storing, analyzing and using large amounts of data within their businesses.
Many organizations that I’ve worked with over the years have done a very thorough job of understanding the technology requirements of big data. They have adopted technologies and systems to allow them to capture and store enormous amounts of data from many different parts of their organization. Additionally, many of these companies have begun to capture data from outside their organization to understand how their use of social media and other marketing channels affects their business and customer base.
While these companies have the technology skills to capture, store and process data at a large scale, many of the organizations I’ve spoken with are at a bit of a loss for what to do with the data. I’ve had more than a few CIO’s and CMO’s tell me that they have the infrastructure in place to handle big data but they aren’t sure they have the skills needed to take advantage of all of the data they have. These organizations have the basic skills to do simple analysis but most are lacking in the skills (and the people) to be able to truly dive into their data to find the questions and answers that lay within that data.
When people talk about big data today, there is very little talk about big analytics. Many people assume that data analytics is part of the discussion that is being held, but that assumption is often wrong. Everyone knows analytics are important, but often everyone thinks ‘they’ are thinking about the analytics aspect of big data. IT professionals tend to focus on the technical aspects of big data while marketing tends to focus on what they can do with all the data they have but few focus on the step needed to get from the ‘collection/storage’ phase to the ‘usage’ phase.
This is unfortunate because in order to use all that data being collected, it must be converted from ‘data’ to ‘knowledge.’ To make that conversion happen, you need to have quality analytics tools and people with the right skills to use those tools. Without the ability to analyze your data, you’ve really just done nothing more than waste money to store enormous amounts of data.
Big data is obviously important to most organizations. There’s plenty of data out there and even more data being generated every day. But big analytics is just as important. Without the ability to analyze the data you have at the speed and scale it is being generated, your organization will never really be able to fully take advantage of big data.
Is your company taking the time to think and plan for big analytics?
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