As the IT discipline around Big Data, it will drive businesses to seek answers and value from their own data.

We have seen an interest in leveraging this data for competitive advantage. To help our customers do this we have built this simple list of criteria to help judge the value of your data, as well as the likelihood of return on any data initiative conducted with an organization:

  1. Data Uniqueness – Is the source of the data unique to your organization? Data that is not unique (customer information, for example) might have been collected by your competitors just as easily as by you. For competitive advantage, focus on unique data such as clickstream information to minimize the intrusion of external variables.
  2. Data Accessibility – Is your data in the form of log files spread across 50 different webservers? Or is it already nicely formatted, ready for analysis? If huge investment in time and resources is necessary to bring data together for analysis, does the effort outweigh the costs?
  3. Data Relevance – Does your data address your specific business problem? Data sources should be examined with a particular business goal in mind. Forcing irrelevant, but available data to suit a problem is a recipe for faulty analysis.

Not all data is created equal, and for many organizations it will be of paramount importance over the coming year to prioritize and evaluate the relevance and quality of the data they have been collected. Though all the data may yield prescient insights into various dimensions of the business, the majority will be more suited to facilitate internal review, rather than drive competitive advantage.
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This blog originally appeared at Saugatuck Lens360.

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