5 red flags that signal your business is not ready for Big Data yet

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Published August 28, 2014   |   
Mark Loew

Big data has become the big thing recently and seems to be all anyone is talking about (besides it being the year of mobile, of course). By “big data,” we mean a concentrated effort to gather intelligence about your business so you can accomplish a deeper analysis.

The fanfare isn’t unwarranted, though. Big data allows you to get a better understanding of your business, your customers, and in many instances your competitors.

However, investing in a big data initiative is pointless if your current data is low quality or difficult to manage. For example, if your business still runs predominantly on spreadsheets managed by a few people, you’re probably not ready for big data. It’s important to ensure high accuracy and cleanliness of the data you have now before even thinking about starting down the path of a big data initiative.

In the case of data, accuracy means that calculations produce the same results, even when different systems gather the data. Cleanliness refers to consistency between internal and external data entry.

Here are five red flags that signal your business is not ready for big data:

1. Your numbers don’t add up and you don’t know why.
2. You have no idea where to get the information you need.
3. You can’t source your data because it comes from multiple spots.
4. You’re entering data and don’t know why.
5. Your data entering is uncontrolled.
If you notice any of these problems in your business, it’s time to look at how to improve the processes and data you already have before leaping into anything as important and complicated as a big data initiative.

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