You can pretty much look anywhere on the internet today and find an article, post, or book written on the benefits of Big Data. It is on the mind of every executive out there, and rightfully so. While the benefits do greatly outweigh the downsides, it still needs to be brought to attention that there often remains a weak link in big data- the data itself.
Without good data, the business intelligence gained from it can all be deemed useless. Without good data, companies find themselves spending unnecessary time and money in an attempt to clean it up. So, rather than focusing right now on how much data we could possibly gather, shouldn’t we be focusing on how to retrieve the ‘correct’ data?
Annual BI and Big Data expenditures are expected to reach $114 billion by the end of 2018- not a number to be taken lightly! It is estimated that almost $65 Billion of that is absorbed or unrealized by businesses each year due to return mail/bad data. Poor data is prevalent in nearly every major industry, from healthcare to retail and finance to telecommunications.
USPS gave us a perfect example of how crucial good data is when they incurred $1.5 Billion in costs processing “undeliverable as addressed” mail. While there were many other factors, over half a billion dollars in expense was due to businesses having wrong addresses in their databases.
Organizations can continue to go along as many are today, gathering all of the data they can get their hands on, because somewhere within that, the good data will fall. However, in an age of efficiency and desire to save as much time and money as possible, executives should drive their organizations to ensure data is properly entered from the beginning or corrected within the systems and databases. Thankfully, there are many products already on the market that can help companies with this today.
After getting rid of the crud in the data and spending our time retrieving only what matters, we will begin to see Big Data being used to its fullest potential. Oh, the possibilities!