Q1 2014 Intelligence Quarterly: Set your data free for the big data world

1Q 2014 Intelligence Quarterly coverHave you been keeping up with the total amount of data being generated over the last few years? We’re moving from petabytes and exabytes to zetabytes and yottabytes faster than anyone ever imagined. And most of our systems were designed for a terabyte world.

Eighty percent of the world’s data didn’t exist two years ago. If you’re still using the same IT and data management strategies that you used back then, it’s likely your systems are out of date.

Until recently, conventional IT strategies have focused on generating, moving and storing data, as opposed to putting the data to work through the use of analytics. Instead of just capturing big data, you should be finding the best ways to use and reuse it wisely.

So which of the traditional data management methods still provide value? And what new strategies should you be considering? This issue of Intelligence Quarterly bridges the gap between old and new, explains what still works, and examines what’s coming next so you can:

  • Develop a solid strategy for liquidizing your big data asset, so it can flow throughout the organization. Read our data management backgrounder and data governance tips for relevant background information.
  • Start analyzing data as it’s streaming in real time. We discuss event stream processing, explaining how to analyze streaming data to spot patterns and make decisions when it matters the most.
  • Use new, in-memory technologies for analyzing large quantities and different types of data. For example, CSI Piemonte is combining and analyzing data from digital libraries, health care records, sensors and the Web to improve public sector programs.
  • Visualize your data as soon as possible in the information life cycle. The new data bank application in Denmark shows how visual displays of data can be used to benefit citizens and make public policy more relevant.

The stories in this issue about retailers, insurance companies and public sector organizations illustrate the importance of having clean, clear, relevant data that you can use immediately.

When was the last time you really had a conversation with your data? And what did it tell you? When you can break down gagged or constrained data structures and set your data free, it speaks more clearly and tells you things you would not know otherwise. That’s how the data starts to talk to you. It’s how you learn what your data has to say. And it draws your attention to questions you wouldn’t have thought to ask.

Unless you make the switch to managing data for high-performance analytics, your data will be an added cost, not an asset. With the right strategy, however, your data can be the competitive advantage you need to increase revenue and reduce costs.

So stop amassing data in old structures and start putting it at your fingertips. In the new digital economy decision makers need to connect the virtual with the practical – or the service with the product – and high-performance analytics does just that.

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