How to avoid becoming a big data liability

When it comes to big data, many business leaders assume that if they accumulate large amounts of information about their customers, new insights and increased ROI is sure to follow.

This is understandable since many organisations today are massive data factories, generating data in large volumes — sometimes consciously, but more often not.

In either case, the amount of collected information is growing rapidly; with terabytes upon terabytes of data and metadata (data about the data) filling storage disks to capacity. However, collecting that data is only the first step. Only by making sense of all the collected info can businesses realise their big data dream.

When data is truly an asset, it’s usually easy to find, categorise and use ubiquitously. It adds value through serving as a business intelligence tool, risk management utility or likely both.

On the other hand, data that is considered a liability is not easy to uncover, is unwieldy, or holds little value. Think of it as a digital landfill. For many companies, data is piling up with no place to go. This is where the data dream becomes a nightmare for many companies. IDC recently reported that 3% of data today is tagged, and just 0.5% is analysed; that’s a lot of landfill.

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