Understanding Big Data and How to Manage It

Big Data: From Understanding to Usability

Everyone is talking about big data. Some technology experts call it the “new oil,” the most valuable resource a business owns. Others see it as a stumbling block if companies can't find ways to analyze and then capitalize on this information. For many businesses, however, big data is little more than a confusing buzzword — what exactly is big data, and what's the big deal for your company?

Breaking Down Big Data

What is big data? Every service provider has its definition, one that suits the product or solutions it sells. Forbes, meanwhile, offers a more straightforward explanation: “Big data is a collection of data from traditional and digital sources inside and outside your company that represents a source for ongoing discovery and analysis.”

Let's break it down: Traditional data sources include anything not digital inside your organization — documents, spreadsheets, charts, graphs — while digital information covers everything stored on your network and created by ongoing processes on that network. Outside data sources also are critical. These could include data generated by a third-party provider handling a specific IT or business function for your company, or data created by digital processes that is then stored in the public cloud. Put simply, any data generated by your organization falls under the auspices of big data.

What Is the Benefit?

Big data offers a number of key benefits — for example, improved decision-making and the ability to derive previously unknown relationships between seeming unrelated sets of information. Big data also has big potential when it comes to service management. As noted by Dataconomy, for example, even less tech-driven companies such as Ralph Lauren or Guess can leverage big data to improve the customer experience by obtaining key consumer insights. Looking inward, companies also can improve IT operations and service management with big data by gaining a clear understanding of how network processes impact performance as a whole. In other words, the potential is almost limitless.

Driving Business Intelligence

Of course, using big data requires more than simply recognizing its potential. Consider the effort to improve service management: Without the right software and support, companies are quickly overwhelmed by the sheer volume of data created day to day by critical business processes. IT pros can easily get bogged down simply keeping their heads above water instead of making any forward motion. To improve overall business intelligence and get ahead of the big data curve, therefore, you need the right support.

Expect Big Things

As noted by The Economic Times, the big data market isn't slowing. In fact, research firm IDC predicts that big data spending will hit $50 billion by 2019, with software as the main driver. What does this mean for your business? That the time to embrace big data is now; understanding of key principles coupled with the right software puts you on the path to effective big data use.

Ready to conquer the world of infinite information? Contact Column Technologies today and start taking control of your data.