In 2014, the lure of big data solutions will catch many executives in a maze of both useful and useless data, and the result will be a big disappointment if they don’t have the right strategy.
As businesses clamor to participate in big data initiatives, they are risking millions of dollars on software and servers with no certainty of any useful outcomes and, in some cases, any outcomes at all. Building a huge data warehouse is just the start but should never be the goal. William Binney, creator of some of the computer code used by the NSA to spy on international Internet traffic, said recently that the agency knows so much that it can’t understand what it has. “What they are doing is making themselves dysfunctional by taking all this data. The agency is drowning in information,” said Binney. If the world’s leading data collection and analysis agency can have a problem of “too much data,” then it’s not farfetched to assume companies diving into big data may need a life jacket.