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Turning Big Data into big insights

Consumers are creating more data than ever before, driven by online and mobile services and set to increase further with the acceptance of wearables and the Internet of Things (IoT).

But all this information provides businesses with the challenge of turning so-called “Big Data” into big insights, the kind that will deliver genuine competitive advantages.

In order to achieve this, organisations first of all need to have a focus: what exactly are they trying to achieve with Big Data and what questions do they want to answer? One of the main reasons that businesses struggle to form useful insights from data is that they aren’t really looking for them, but are instead simply hoping that they appear. Having a clear goal makes for much more efficient data analysis.

When analysing large quantities of data it is easy to get lost in the huge amount of numbers that you are working with, so it’s important to remember the importance of contextual information. Using text analysis alongside the figures can provide complimentary information that helps prevent erroneous conclusions being drawn from the data. Presenting your initial findings in the form of a graph or another type of visual representation can also help you discover new insights.

Businesses that want to extract more value from their Big Data analysis would also do well to remember that simply having more data does not mean your insights will necessarily be more profound. Companies should instead assess whether extra data is relevant to the queries they are investigating and whether their analytics software is proving effective.

Alongside technical solutions, Big Data analysis also relies heavily on the work of data scientists. Valuing the important role played by these employees is another great way of producing valuable insights from the Big Data deluge.

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