GOT YOUR “big data” plan in place? If not, you may want to think about implementing one. Big data is being hailed — or hyped, depend- ing on your point of view — as a key strategic business asset of the future. That means it’s only a matter of time before the suits in the corner office want to know I T’s thoughts on the matter. What to tell them? To be sure, handling large
amounts of data isn’t virgin territory for most I T departments,
but beyond the hype, analysts say, big data really is different
from the data warehousing, data mining and business intelligence analysis that have come before it.
Data is being generated with greater velocity and variability
than ever before, and, unlike data in the past, most of it is
unstructured and raw (sometimes called “gray data”).
Blogs, social media networks, machine sensors and location-based tools are generating a whole new universe of unstructured data that — when quickly captured, managed and
analyzed — can help companies uncover facts and patterns
they weren’t able to recognize in the past.
“We’ve collected data for a long time, but it was very limited
— we produced a lot of it, but no one was doing much with
It’s time for IT to lay the groundwork for what’s being hyped as the
next big strategic initiative for business. BY BETH STACKPOLE