Category Archives: Big Data

Let’s think about something cool

One of the challenging things about travelling all of the time is that it can be hard to find time to learn about the cool things people are doing in your space.

Thankfully, now that I’m at home more I have time for actual thinking, so last Friday I went to a great event that was a little bit of a pulse-check on the state of big data and analytics. There were presentations from Hitachi Solutions and from MIcrosoft – who should be congratulated for finally recognizing and embracing Excel as the day-to-day BI tool for some – amongst others, and various interesting use cases to review and discuss.

Every day I see that the majority of business, especially enterprise business, is still stuck just trying to find their data and make it reliable and useful. It’s events like these keeps your imagination going, thinking about the different kinds of long-term benefits timely, reliable data can bring – very helpful while you’re slogging through the drudgery of data cleanup!

Thanks Hitachi Solutions Canada (@HitachiSoCa) for setting it up!

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How can businesses understand what they need from big data?

Success starts with simple.

As the utilization of big data grows, stories proliferate about new data that turn out to have an impact on a seemingly unconnected area. This can lead to the assumption that mining big data is like collecting marbles in a bucket and then spilling them on the floor, hoping that previously unknown patterns will be revealed. While this *can* happen – and with new visualization tools and techniques, may happen more frequently – success is much more likely to arise from first understanding what questions you want to answer.

You’re much more likely to learn what data are necessary if you brainstorm about what you want to know and create the right questions. Once you have the questions, you can break down the likely data sources for the answers and start figuring out where it is and how to get it.

I know, it sounds simple but it’s amazing how many businesses have not yet reached this conclusion. Find the questions and then you can find the answers.