The Best Way to Work with Big Data

big-data-tree
Big data representation of the number of crimes, trees and cabs in San Francisco.

A lot of companies are getting into big data and business intelligence, but only a very few think about how to go about it.  All they consider is how to capture the data and how to analyze it so that they could get the promised insights into their operations and businesses.  But there is a big area in big data and business intelligence that many companies are not taking into consideration before plunging in.

You might not think much about it, but before you can even begin to analyze or find trends, you would need to prepare your data first.  At the very least, you would need to know what fields you need and what information is relevant to your analysis.  That means that you will be working with raw data, combining columns and fields, creating new ones, cleansing the data, removing the duplicates and then transforming the data.

If that sounds rather complicated, that is because it is.  It takes a lot of your time to do these tasks, and it is normal to spend 80% to 90% of your time with big data preparing it.  That means that you take at least four times as long to prepare your data than to actually analyze it.

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Structured data are out-dated

Structured data would not be as much of a problem because there are software that could easily crunch it, and these have been available for years.  But the reality is that we are no longer in the era of structured data. Instead, we have to deal with unstructured data coming from various sources, even previously untapped sources.  Our databases are now filled with data that comes from Web sites, social media, and third party apps or software, among others.

You would need software that allows you to see your data visually and enables you to transform it.  Think of it this way: you can upload a sample of the data you are working on and the software allows you to manipulate the data according to your requirements and then you can use that to work with the entirety of your data.  This way, you only manipulate a small set of data by uploading a sample set and avoid being overwhelmed by the sheer volume of data you have to work with.  Then you can use this model to work with the entire set of data, making sure that your predictions, trends and analysis are as accurate as possible.

This makes working with large sets of unstructured data very simple and very easy.  This will also ensure that you are maximizing your business intelligence and big data efforts to the fullest.

Why?  Because without seeing your data in the right context, you will be missing out on certain insights that your data would be able to give you.  And it is easy to get lost if you are working with a big and complex set of data.  By using a software that allows you to simplify things and still work with the entire data set later on, you can be sure that you get the insights you need.  Still confused? Call Four Cornerstone today! We have a team of experts who can help you with the complexities of big data.

Contact us now!

Photo courtesy of Shawn Allen.

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