Big: Data, model, quality and variety

Big:  Data, model, quality and variety

The “big” part of big data is about enabling insights that were previously indiscernible. It’s about uncovering small differences that make a big difference in domains as widespread as health care, public health, marketing and business process optimization, law enforcement and cybersecurity — and even the detection of new subatomic particles.

But the “bigness” of your data is not its most important characteristic. Here are three other considerations when it comes to getting value from big data.

Of the three “V’s” of big data (volume, velocity and variety), the best advice for many organizations is to forget about big volume. For my money the real value in big data comes from its variety.

Consider this example from the natural sciences — the discovery and eventual acceptance of plate tectonics. First proposed as the theory of Continental Drift by Alfred Wegener in 1912, it was not until the 1960’s that it was fully accepted based on the overwhelming data-driven evidence acquired across a wide variety of fields:

Getting value out of your variety is first and foremost a data integration task. Don’t let your big data become Big Silos. Start within a function, like production or marketing, and integrate those data silos first.

For example, in customer service, bring together the separate web, call center and field service data.

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