How to extract business value from big data

Enterprises have a growing number of tools designed to collect, store and analyze big data.

But simply building a Hadoop cluster or buying data analytics software isn’t going to guarantee an enterprise it will extract business value from its big data, particularly if it wants actionable information in real time. For a big data project to succeed, strategy and preparation are required.

Charles Rich, vice president of product management for data analytics software vendor jKool, outlines in a Data-Informed article several steps that enterprise business leaders can take in conjunction with IT to ensure that they’re getting the value they need out of their data in real time.

First, he writes, it’s important to “set specific business goals rather than just attacking the data itself as a problem to be solved.” That’s a critical point; the data must serve tangible business purposes.

Second, enterprises must choose the right technology tools for extracting, storing and analyzing the data needed to achieve business goals. Doing this in real time, Rich writes, “gives users the unprecedented ability to make immediate adjustments and corrections that can have a significant impact on business outcomes.” This step requires some research and possibly input from consultants or a data analytics vendor.

A third crucial step for gaining business value from streaming big data is through creating visualizations, according to Rich. Trying to make sense of data coming from various sources and systems in a way that helps the business is difficult without a way to put it in perspective. Creating compelling and easily understood visualizations can aid in data analysis and, ultimately, decision making.

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