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Deloitte iDeas blog

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Big data: Is bigger better?

by Jane Griffin

In a recent study, Deloitte identified a number of hurdles that prevent organizations from making greater use of business analytics. These hurdles include leadership that doesn’t support or even understand the use of analytics, poor technology infrastructure and the quality and amount of data being collected.1

Despite these hurdles, many organizations still intend to explore big data, even if their results generate more information and not necessarily more insight.

Let’s apply the Pareto principle:
If 80 percent of the value comes from 20 percent of the data — then there’s a whole lot of waste going on.

Don’t pursue your big data dreams at the expense of small data value. There’s plenty of room for both — and each offers different strengths for different challenges.

For some companies, big data may be an important part or even central to their strategy. For others it may become an expensive distraction. Determine whether big data really can help your company by identifying the most important business questions you need to answer.

What insights do you need to make your organization more competitive? (tweet this) Do you need big data to get there? If so, how should you begin? Taking advantage of big data doesn’t necessarily require a broad analytics capability. Many companies are getting into the action with resources they already have. In practical terms, they’re working in parallel with related investments in information management, business intelligence, data mining and traditional analytics. But before you do anything, stop and think the issues through. Don’t get swept up in the hype.

Be it big, small, structured or unstructured, it’s important to take advantage of the data you already have. Remember the goal is insight, not just more information.

The potential of big data is immense. Once you remove constraints on the size, type, source and complexity of useful data, your business can ask the crunchy questions. But before you start investing in the acquisition of even more data, you should know exactly what you’re going to do with it.

Oceans of big data: Take the plunge or wade in slowly? will help you get the most insight out of your data by exploring the benefits and pitfalls of using big data.


1.Global Analytics advantage survey, Deloitte, 2013


Jane Griffin Jane Griffin, is Deloitte Analytics’ leader for the Americas. She helps companies use analytics to drive smarter business decisions that get better results.

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