Big data is here, but do users understand it?

The expansion of business intelligence's purview over the past few years has been one of the most important enterprise IT stories. Solutions that were once rather limited in their role are now able to digest huge quantities of information as it churns its way through corporate IT infrastructures, identifying patterns and allowing leaders to improve their logic on the fly.

That doesn't mean, however, that adoption and use of this cutting-edge tech have been uniform across the corporate world. It's now up to organizations to seize the advantages promised by the vast improvements in analytics and content collection that have debuted in various fields. A firm with a great grasp on big data will doubtless see different outcomes than one still struggling to internalize the concepts.

Getting a grip on the technology
According to TechTarget, there may be some gaps in organizations' big data knowledge, and if there's one thing that can keep companies from reaching meaningful goals in business IT, it's a lack of understanding. The source noted an informal poll at The Data Warehousing Institute Executive Summit found only one respondent in a room of approximately 100 was willing to say he or she "understood what big data is all about." The technology's buzzword status may have led to unfortunate after-effects, wherein its name is widely known but its best practices remain obscure.

The quest to better understand just what data is all about is vitally important. TechTarget pointed out that consultant Rick van der Lans laid out ways in which big data can carry companies to the top of their respective fields. He stated there should be a deep appreciation of the power inherent to big data, one that extends to the leadership teams in departments other than IT. It is normal for tech specialists to have a grasp on what's coming down the pipeline. Real change may mean teaching these lessons to the executives holding the purse strings.

Solutions with expansive appeal
One great way to use big data may involve spreading the technology itself to every department through tools that are customizable and widely applicable. These are products such as Necto 14, designed with dashboards that show metrics relevant to the specific user rather than requiring each potential adopter to learn a huge number of new skills and practices. This may be the type of move that both convinces holdouts of what BI is all about and results from important research. Relevant to today's IT departments, Necto is attuned to large data sources, making it part of the big data learning process.

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