Shvetank Shah is executive director of the Corporate Executive Board, and recently wrote an article for InformationWeek about the need for scrutiny when launching into big data initiatives. Here’s the first paragraph from Shah’s post, which sums things up pretty well:
Even as companies invest eight- and nine-figure sums to analyze the information streaming in from suppliers and customers, fewer than 40% of employees have the right processes and skills to make good use of the analysis. Think of this as a company’s insight deficit. To overcome it, “big data” needs to be complemented by “big judgment.”
Just because we now have lots of data to work with doesn’t mean that we will now get better decisions. How we turn data into actional information – the methods, the tools, the techniques – are incredibly important. Also, as Shah points out, sometimes the data itself is just plain bad, and people don’t always trust it. Gaining insight from data is the important factor, not merely getting more data.