Big Data: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Many companies who invest in a big data platform hoard data. These organizations collect vast amounts of data and don’t delete any of it, fearing it will be needed in the future. Faced with an insurmountable mound of data, outside the scope of conventional analytical tools, companies are forced to invest in big data platforms to gather actionable insights from the data pool.

However, big data should not include bad or junk data. The costs associated with hoarding them will undermine any gains realized by subjecting tons and tons of junk data to big data analytics (dirty data costs U.S. businesses $600 billion dollars annually). For big data analytics to yield a positive return on investment, organizations have to initiate the groundwork to ensure they retain only the most relevant of data in the first place.

The following are some ways to clean up data:

– Conduct a data collection audit to understand the touch points from which data enters the organization. An organization may aggregate data from website forms, point of sale terminals, contests, social media, and many other channels. It’s important to ensure retention of only the relevant data from all these touch points.

– Address neglected data. Most organizations collect the maximum possible information they can, and simply leave it somewhere. In most cases, such information would have no relevance. Spending money to maintain such data and including the same in big data analytics is foolhardy, and may actually distort the analysis. This type of data has to be reviewed, and retained or discarded as required.

– Break down data silos. Many organizations have a problem with data silos, and spend good money to break them down. A study by Altimeter Group covering 142 companies with over 1,000 employees revealed an average company spends $272,000 on custom integration efforts to integrate disparate social systems. A good big data initiative would factor-in breaking down such silos, by incorporating execution tools via APIs or by integrating scripts along with the data collection efforts.

Marketing automation helps you gather relevant data, instead of hoarding data that isn’t necessary. The best part? It’s all in one place! Reach out to us today to see how you can use big data to make actionable decisions.

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