Big Data – What is it and Why is it Important – Part 4


In Part 3 of this series we found out that Big Data is a huge revenue generator for business that is expected to drive $232 billion in spending through 2016. In this installment we’ll continue to explore why Big Data must become a critical part of any business strategy in the 21st century.


First, the Bad News


Okay, so we get the notion of what Big Data is and why it’s important for business. So what can be done about it? The first point is to recognize your business strategy and needs as well as the limitations in your current infrastructure. Traditional organizational data warehouses are based on structured, well-organized data sets. Think Oracle, MySQL, and relational databases . . . that nicely organize data in tables and rows.


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In the past decade, however, the enormous stream of text messages, Tweets, YouTube videos, pod-casts, Facebook posts, and sensor data has come in the form of “unstructured data” – which is unorganized, disparate, maldefined data. In fact, estimates are that 90% of data generated daily is unstructured, which means that businesses are unable to manage or extract value from it. In other words, this means that most organizations are making decisions based on structured data only . . . which is giving them only 10% of the picture.


Big Data Problem or Big Data Opportunity!


If you go to the bank and ask for a cash withdrawal of $100 and turn around and leave $90 on the table then folks would probably question your sanity. And yet, if we see the analogy above about Big Data as an asset, this is exactly what’s happening with businesses today. Those who get on-board with developing and implementing a Big Data strategy are the ones who will set themselves apart in the new digital era. Instead of looking at Big Data as a problem, business owners need to see it as an opportunity to develop deeper new insights on trends, relations, and patterns in their supply chain that can improve their customer satisfaction, save money, and grow the business.


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There are a considerable number of resources available today that businesses can leverage to manage their unstructured data and gain deeper insights into their verticals. These include everything from Business Intelligence dashboards to predictive analytics resources to big data management platforms like the Hadoop ecosystem.


Stay tuned! In the next post we kickoff a new series that will look at Hadoop and NoSQL as two major examples of the tool sets that companies are currently using to manage their Big Data solutions and strategies.


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