Many organizations rush to collect and connect the data across their enterprise, seduced by the expectation that more means better and that bigger means more powerful. But in that rush for quantity, many have left considerations for quality behind. Simply having and processing Big Data doesn’t automatically boost productivity or improve profits. Quite the contrary: as enterprises embrace the scale and power of Big Data, it’s more critical than ever that they ensure that they are wringing every ounce of value they can from it.
To make sure your Big Data is doing its job, start here:
Cleanse it. Data can only be useful to you if it provides a current and accurate reflection of the performance metrics and insights that help you make decisions and take meaningful actions. But if your data consists of a hodgepodge of outdated, inaccurate, and/or duplicated data, your ability to make refined and accurate decisions is likely degraded. “Dirty” data can misinform and misdirect, and ultimately lead to undesired outcomes.
In Big Data environments, data cleansing has become an essential step to make Big Data useful. Removing errors, resolving inconsistencies, eradicating duplicates and rectifying mislabeling will allow an enterprise to access and leverage the full breadth of the data they have accumulated.
Make it relevant. Data is useless if it’s not relevant to the metrics that inform your business decisions. The test for relevancy of any data is whether or not it, alone or in combination with other data, is actionable. Currency has also become a significant factor in relevance, allowing execs to respond to real-time, current and live data, to respond to trends and to dodge dips and damages. Fresh data allows management to make optimal decisions.
Visualize it. Data is only as good as the communication tools you use to inform yourself and your organization of the copious insights it has to offer. Using data visualization dashboards is an extraordinarily effective tool to glean insights, communicate trends, observe performance and avoid pitfalls.