Philosophy and Big Data
What is data? People throw around the word with many different implications. Today, it has grown to be one of the biggest buzzwords, but what does it actually mean and what can it do for businesses?
Data may refer to valuable and confidential information or conversely seemingly trivial facts and statistics. Experience has taught us both types play vital roles in the success of businesses, and advances in technology have allowed businesses to use this data to their advantage.
Which Came First? The Chicken (Technology) or the Egg (Data)
Before embarking on a philosophical discussion around data, let’s first establish the facts of life. Where does data come from?
- Social technology
- Local technology
- Mobile technology
Or as our friends at Social Media Today say, “SoLoMo.” But it goes even further than that. Data comes from all places at a constant stream. Every click, check in, phone call, text, tweet, like, credit card swipe – you get the picture – generates data. And the effects of massive data generation have created a “Chicken or Egg?” situation. Companies innovate and create technologies that generate mass amounts of data. Someone finds meaning in the data and innovates further, thus creating more data, and the cycle goes on and on. It’s tough to say which came first, the data or the idea.
Not All Data Was Created Equal: Picking the Best Data
With massive amounts of data, it can be difficult to discern which pieces of data are the most relevant to your organization. The Technology Executives Club believes this question of data value is difficult to answer due to the massive quantity of available data and its agile nature. But, the “ability of business and IT managers to answer that question directly correlates to the success of their company’s business continuity and data recovery efforts.”
The Bigger the Better: Big Data and Today’s Consumer
With ever-changing technology and big data, organizations need to realize that the way they connected with customers in the past is not how they will be served in the future. “The entire infrastructure in how we market, sell, help, and create now requires companies to not only study data and behavior but also change how it thinks about customers,” according to Social Media Today.
For example, Facebook collects data from its users to provide them with personalized advertisements and business/product fan page suggestions based on their individual profile characteristics. “The rich, varied pool of data is Facebook’s greatest asset, giving the company a lot of ways to get creative with ads and sponsorships,” according to the New York Times. The data they have collected has led to consumer specific advertising opportunities, which in turn has led to the growth and profit of the company. The more data they collect from users, the more valuable the company will become. With the growth of data and all the new ways to analyze and use it, more and more companies like Facebook will be utilizing it to grow their business. And of course, those companies may need a place to store all that data…
like Data Cave.