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October 31, 2012

Don't Be Scared of Big Data

By TMCnet Special Guest
Mike Smitheman, VP of Marketing, GoodData

If you’re a company worth your salt, chances are you’re drowning in a swamp of data. More than 90 percent of data today is unstructured, comprising images, MP3 files, videos, social media snippets and other Web-enabled workloads. If you don’t turn that information into meaningful insights, you bury your competitive advantage.

That’s not to mention zombie apps, the slow, dead or unused applications that suck money from your organization and IT infrastructure.

It gets worse: Social media can make a Frankenstein out of your company reputation. Gone are the days when you could dictate your own corporate story.

Now, thanks to social networking, people around the world can bash your company’s product without any consequences.

And beneath it all, there’s confusion. What, specifically, should you do with all this data? How do you make the best use of it?  

If you have an old business intelligence (BI) solution, it’s time to drive a stake through its heart and replace your useless historical charts with actionable real-time dashboards. Rather than being scared of big data monsters, you can bash them to pieces – and use those monster parts to make a buck (or a million).

So if there are big data monsters at your doorstep, there’s only one good way to make use of them. Invite them in and monetize them. How? The answer lies in having a strategy for empowering your business to find sources of revenue and profit from big data. By taking action and implementing analytics that provide key performance indicators and best practices, this vast amount of information can actually be a nice treat that can be easily digested and processed – especially when it’s packaged in an easy-to-understand user interface.

As estimated by Merrill Lynch, the big data market is currently around the $100-billion range. The ability for organizations to be able to gather and make actionable decisions on information from multiple information silos – including mobile, social Web, internal data and cloud apps – will be a key success factor for companies to reach their full revenue potential.

When you have the right tools in place, big data isn't all that scary after all.


Mike Smitheman is the vice president of Marketing for GoodData (News - Alert), a Silicon Valley-based company that provides a cloud-based platform that enables more than 6,000 global businesses to monetize big data. GoodData is headquartered in San Francisco and is backed by Andreessen Horowitz, General Catalyst Partners, Fidelity Growth Partners, Next World Capital, Tenaya Capital and Windcrest Partners.




Edited by Braden Becker
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