We’re drowning in a sea of data, searching for information that leads to better decisions.
“Big Data” is the term used to describe that sea of data, being collected nonstop by ourselves and others. Some lurk in the background, using the data for nefarious purposes. But assuming good intentions, how do we convert the data into information?
First, there are the questions we know we have. We need data to help us answer them. Examples include product inventory selection for Amazon’s new NYC one-hour delivery operation, and the messenger delivery routes that will support the promise.
Then there are the questions we don’t even know we have, but looking at the data gives us that “aha!” moment.
As you begin to incorporate “Big Data” into your decision-making, start by considering these 4 fundamental factors:
- What questions do I know I need to answer, and what data will help me do that?
- Is the data available reliable enough to use in drawing conclusions?
- How can I understand the data definitions well enough to use the data intelligently?
- How to I utilize qualitative data, or do I?
Big Data will continue to mushroom as technology use expands and storage prices fall. But data is not information. Sorting through all that is, or can be, available to find the nuggets of importance to your business is not a simple task. It is one every business needs to begin to consider.