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Drilling Down on Data in 2014

Short Takes...on Analytics

Posted by Forrest Danson, Principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP

It’s almost unimaginable that 90 percent of the world’s data was generated in the last two years – and the data explosion has just begun. As the volume, velocity and variety of data continue to grow, so too will data-related challenges and opportunities for organizations seeking to manipulate, interpret, and extend data for greater value. With data volumes expected to continue doubling every two years, what magnitude of change can businesses expect, and what data-related trends should they focus on?

Manipulating data for R&D breakthroughs
By making big data manipulation easier and less expensive, today's data discovery environments allow users at all levels of the business to interact with data. Discovery "sandboxes" – or simulated production environments – facilitate research and development. But do all organizations need such tools? While online businesses dealing with vast amounts of unstructured data can benefit, more traditional businesses should be wary of getting stuck in the data sandbox.

Interpreting data through visualization
Data visualization tools make data more understandable by hiding complexity, making it easier for users to interpret data in new ways. Some applications of visualization can get too creative, however. Visualization can go awry when it emphasizes visuals at the expense of facts, or favors glossy graphics over new insights. Going forward, organizations should apply visualization specifically to decision situations that benefit from visual interpretation. Otherwise, visualization tools will only muddy the waters and magnify problems.

Extending data to products and services
From online software companies to industrial and manufacturing companies, the development of data products is big business. Whether it’s leveraging data from sensors or monetizing the organization's internal data assets, the trend of extending data to products and services is likely to continue. While productizing collected data is a valid strategy for some, using big data and analytics to inform internal decision-making may be the more practical approach for traditional enterprises over the coming year.

What trends do you see disrupting “data as usual” this year? For more on data and analytics trends, explore Deloitte’s interactive infographic, Analytics Trends 2014.

About Deloitte

As used in this document, "Deloitte" means Deloitte Consulting LLP, a subsidiary of Deloitte LLP. Please see for a detailed description of the legal structure of Deloitte LLP and its subsidiaries. Certain services may not be available to attest clients under the rules and regulations of public accounting.

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