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Big Data: Use It or Get Used

Data is fast becoming the center of a marketer’s universe. From the ads marketers create, to optimizing landing pages, to the messaging created, more and more marketing decisions are being based off of data. Marketers are quickly learning how to capture and harness the power of big data. If you are not yet using Big Data, then it’s time for you to catch up!

So what is big data and why is it so revolutionary? For the first time, companies are now able to collect and analyze more data than ever before. “While the technology, and indeed the need, to collect process and analyze Big Data, has been with us for quite some time, doing so hasn’t been efficient or economical until recently. And therein lies the revolution,” writes Blue Badge Insights founder, Andrew Brust, in a piece from technology blog, ZD Net. This phenomenon gives new insight to decision makers, helping then make faster, more accurate decisions. Big data isn’t something that is only used by the government or large tech firms, it’s becoming mainstream. “It’s moving from specialized use in science and tech companies to Enterprise IT applications,” says Brust. It’s being offered up to the masses. While big data brings a lot to the table, the benefits are only reaped if certain best practices are implemented.

According to a Forbes article on Big Data, data management software company Actifio CEO, Ash Ashutosh believes that organizations “must find smarter data management approaches that enable them to effectively corral and optimize their data.” Ash points out that it’s not the collecting and storing of the data that companies struggle with. Instead, it’s the unintentional and unnecessary duplication of the data that companies are having issues with. “What most people don’t know is that the vast majority of Bid Data is either duplicated data or synthesized data,” writes Ash. This not only increases the amount of storage needed to accommodate all the data, but also makes finding that one piece you’re looking for much more difficult.

Luckily Ash has several tips to help organizations get the most of their big data efforts. “The first step is to bring the data down to its unique set and reduce the amount of data to be managed.” By eliminating the duplicates, it not only frees up space but also makes it faster and easier for individuals to find what it is they are looking for. Next Ash recommends leveraging virtualization technology. He believes that the reason why organizations end up with so much duplicative data is because of the lack of virtualization technology. As one department needs to analyze some data, they’ll go in, copy the initial data set and work from the copy – multiply this across an entire organization and you can see how quickly it will add up. “By reducing the data footprint, virtualizing the reuse and storage of the data and centralizing the management of the data set, Big Data is ultimately transformed into small data and managed like virtual data.” What this means is that as the data resides in a smaller footprint, data management will be improved leading to:

  • Faster data process time by applications
  • Improved data security as it is all centralized, even though access to the data is distributed
  • Increase result accuracy since all copies of data are visible
  • Improved recovery and back up

Today businesses are collecting and analyzing huge amounts of unstructured data. We’re now able to use this data to help answer important questions and decisions. According to Burst, “We’re using data we once threw away, because storage was too expensive, processing too slow and, going further back, broadband was too scarce.” The future of Big Data is a bright and interesting one, get on board now or be left in the dust.

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