The Challenge of Big Data: Knowing What’s Important

The topic of Big Data has been enjoying increased interest in the press, the economy, and in research for quite some time. But it’s not without its controversies: both ethical and moral issues continue to come up for discussion time and again. For example, there is the concern that the mass collection of data may be irreconcilable with fundamental data protection. We could discuss the HR department as an example here: you’d be hard pressed to find anyone who thinks that making decisions on promoting or even firing an employee based solely on quantitative data would be a good idea. Nobody wants to see employers combing through exhaustive documentation of an employee’s every working hour.

 

Big, Smart, or Predictive?

But this isn’t really the purpose of Big Data. More and more, a growing chorus of voices is calling for Smart Data instead of Big Data, and new terms like advanced analytics or predictive analytics seem to be springing up everywhere you look. Diligent data collection won’t do anyone any good if data analysis and application doesn’t have functional value. What could be more boring than a giant data wasteland that never produces any meaning or any message?

 

The Answer to Complexity: Relevance

To avoid this scenario, companies need to be clear that not every piece of information is valuable in and of itself. The trick is to extract only relevant information and to use it as the basis for developing arguments or making decisions. This makes it possible to create exciting, future-oriented, and reasonable application scenarios. This has been the case, for example, in gene research, the automotive industry, and the insurance sector.

 

New Job Descriptions, New Solutions

The complexity of Big or Smart Data is also clear when we consider that the topic has spawned totally new job descriptions. The Fraunhofer Academy, for example, recently started offering a certification program for Data Scientists. EASY SOFTWARE AG is also moving towards a smart future, helping its customers to master all of their company data. EASY Discovery provides a good tool allowing enterprises to call up information from a variety of sources at once and assess it in an integrated fashion.

 

Key to Competitive Ability

One current 2016 study by BARC offers extensive insights on the topic of Big Data. 40% of users surveyed consider advanced analytic processes to be important, and 94% believe they will be relevant in the future. The biggest difficulties seem to be a lack of experience and IT resources. Nevertheless: up to now, most expertise is offered by the IT, financial, and telecommunications industries.