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October 2017, Vol. 5, No. 5

From all the data chaos emerges big data value

In psychology, the term gestalt describes the search for meaningful perceptions in a chaotic world -- finding the one reality that explains the whole. The same principle applies for data managers trawling to find meaning in overflowing lakes of undefined, unstructured data. Businesses pour millions of dollars each year into purchasing and developing all variations of hardware and software to collect and analyze data from multiple sources. Depending on whom you ask and what survey you read, value gets mixed reviews from the industry's foot soldiers. Data scientists, business executives, analytics users, industry consultants and research analysts believe those x-bytes of collected data biding time and doing the backstroke in data lakes have plenty of value or very little value. Most companies capture only a fraction of the potential value from data and analytics, a 2016 McKinsey Global Institute report concluded. The biggest barriers companies confront in extracting value are organizational, and many struggle to incorporate ...

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