From the Editors: Prospecting for value in the "big data" gold rush

'Big data' is only as good as its value--learn how quality strategy, data governance, and predictive analytics can help you mine data 'gold'.

Analysts and consultants can attract parody, but they are smart people with the time and space to think hard about the business of IT. So, when McKinsey and Gartner sing in harmony about the necessity to focus on the value of so-called “big data” rather than its sheer volume there has to be something there.

This is the gist of a recent report from the McKinsey Global Institute, Big data: The next frontier for innovation, competition, and productivity. Gartner makes a similar case, based on recent research. Yvonne Genovese, research vice president and distinguished analyst, told us that “Big data is just the start. In the future, the full range of extreme information management issues -- of which volume is just one aspect -- will pose even greater challenges, but also enable the emergence of even more significant business opportunities.”

But all data, whether gargantuan or not, can be managed for quality to create business benefit. Mark Whitehorn, one of’s experts, offers a five step data quality strategy. He also graphically illustrates how to optimise your quality programme, avoiding the cost of needless perfection.

Resounding success in data governance is rare. Only two per cent of 134 mainly European and US companies accorded that accolade to their governance programmes. But we have sifted out one company, The Travel Corporation, that has attained a single customer view as a consequence of its data governance, among other business benefits.

Success on the tennis court at this year’s Wimbledon belonged, above all, to Novak Djokovic and Petra Kvitova, but predictive analytics scored a point or two in the shape of a bundle of IBM software (other analytics software is available). Five years of historical Grand Slam data, amounting to almost 40 million competitive points, were analysed to identify the key aspects of players’ performance when they played at their best. The business benefit that can be extrapolated here is that one can spot trends across historical data and draw conclusions about future trends.

Wimbledon seems like such a long time ago now and the football season will soon be upon us!

I hope you find these “data gold” stories to be interesting. If you would like to contact me about any aspect of analytics (sports or otherwise), BI, or data management please do so.

Meanwhile, please find below links to other recent articles on SearchDataManagementUK that you might like to explore.

Best wishes,

Brian McKenna

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