Big Data: Rethinking How We Find Information

In business today, many feel trapped by the amount of data that is created by the marketplace interacting with our brands. We feel compelled to measure and have a desire to understand every ounce of data, every tweet and every line of a report. Data is real time, complex and a seemingly uphill battle in regard to the exponential rate at which it is created. More data was produced in 2011 than in the entire history of mankind through 2010! What do we do? How do we give our data relevance and meaning? Is it possible to transform our data into information? Ultimately, how do we produce actionable business insights from data that allow us to make decisions to move our brands forward? To get a handle on the fire hose of ones and zeroes, we must define success, categorize data into relevant groups, integrate analytics into every department, use the correct tools and automate this process.

Albert Einstein once said, “Not everything that counts can be measured. Not everything that can be measured counts.” It is easy to want to measure everything, but it takes true talent to show that what you are measuring is important. This is the single greatest thing to focus on and will allow you to filter out the noise. Concentrate on segmenting your data to expose a possible insight into understanding a specific persona that aligns most appropriately with your brand. Invest in the time to understand what data you can access and choose tools that allow you to quickly transform that into bite-size portions of information. Additionally, one must be patient, because it takes time to correctly set up a process to understand and process your data.

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