Clive Humby famously said that “Data is the new oil.” But unlike fossil fuels, the amount of data in the world isn't being depleted; it's exploding. Each year produces more data than the last, and your organization is likely no exception. Big data promises to turn your data into valuable insights for your business through the power of data analytics, but the truth is a little more complicated than that.
The key to good business intelligence is to feed your data analytics software the right information. When you put garbage in, you get garbage out. Big Data services like to boast that you can just drop your data in and get flashy dashboards full of charts and graphs. However, if you don't curate that data first, you'll fail to reap the full rewards of BI software.
In fact, you could end up making poor decisions that are actually worse for your business if your input data is flawed or incomplete. If you want your BI investment to actually yield a good return, then you also need to make sure your data is available and organized before you start. Your data analysts will also thank you.
These days, data is scattered all over the place. Workers save files on their home computers when they work remotely or forget to upload their work to the cloud or to your server. Employees struggle to follow your protocols and naming conventions. In short, your data is messier than you think.
Disorganized data becomes what we like to call a data swamp. Murky, sticky, and impossible to navigate, data swamps impede big data analysis and bog down your analysts' days. But it's possible to turn that swamp into a useful body of data when you know what data you have and where it lives.
Redundant data may not seem like a serious concern. After all, what's so bad about multiple copies of files? When redundancy is intentional, for instance in routine backups, it's an important part of your business. However, many redundancies are actually accidents.
Working files, temporary files, and even slightly altered copies can take up valuable space on your storage solution. This costs your business money and makes it harder for analysts to figure out which version of the file they should use.
Obsolete files have even more potential to corrupt your analytics. If your BI software is giving you intelligence based on irrelevant data, you could be making fatal mistakes when you analyze the results. Consider how flawed a marketing campaign would be if it based its projections on obsolete user data. You need to make sure the data fed into the system is always relevant and current.
Unfortunately, most people are too afraid to delete anything at work. The last thing an employee wants is to get in trouble for losing valuable data, so they're far more likely to keep old files lying around instead of throwing them away. This is one reason why obsolete data never seems to go away.
Trivial data is basically data you shouldn't even have anymore. It's useless. But, like these other kinds of data, it tends to disguise itself as something useful. For instance, maybe your employee started working on a file only to abandon it midway through. That file has an important sounding name. It might even be in a job folder. The reality is that the data inside is incomplete and a potential risk to your company.
One of the biggest problems limiting your data analytics is that you just don't have all the data you need. It's often hidden across the various departments of your organization in the form of data silos. When one department's files are only visible to the members of that department, you've got a silo that needs to be available to the right team in your company.
Aparavi is a SaaS platform that allows IT teams to find and identify all of a company’s data no matter where it lives. The software presents your data through a single dashboard, identifies file types, duplicates, location all with the ability to create further queries to gain deeper insight. And, the automated classification technology will ensure the data is classified to current legal policies on a global scale. Aparavi helps you to purify your data swamp, identify the ROT data so you can start to make decisions with confidence and generate real insights to base business decisions.
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