Research: Big Data, Smart Data

Oct 25, 2012


Research: 6 Big Data Lies

You know what they say: If you torture data long enough, it will tell you what you want to hear. And big data only lets us tell bigger lies. Marketing can justify crazy ad campaigns: “Sentiment analytics shows our latest campaign is actually a huge hit with the under-25-urban-vegan demo!” The supply chain team can use it to get more funding: “Our geolocation analysis shows if we invest in robotic warehouse automation, we’ll reduce costs by 15%.” Sales can explain why it missed its numbers: “We don’t have an iOS app, and smartphone data shows that’s what 87.4% of customers use. It’s not our fault.”

Hell, even IT vendors love it. They’re hawking fancy “big data” tools like Halliburton ­waving new weapons systems in front of a banana republic dictator.

Don’t get us wrong. The ability to collect and analyze data is a core IT value proposition. Companies like Wal-Mart, FedEx and Southwest Airlines gained strategic advantage by digging into their core business data long before it was labeled “big.” And there’s no question there’s more data available than ever, especially information from the Web and the new wave of smart mobile devices.

Our beef, though, is that most businesses aren’t good at using the data they have now. What are the odds we’ll get better with more being piled on? More data doesn’t fix bad analysis. (R5561112)

Survey Name   InformationWeek 2013 Big Data Survey

Survey Date   September 2012

Region   North America

Number of Respondents    257

Purpose   To determine whether or not organizations are pulling in the right information, how they’re employing that information, and the tools being used.

Methodology   InformationWeek surveyed business technology decision-makers at North American companies. The survey was conducted online, and respondents were ­recruited via an email invitation containing an embedded link to the survey. The email ­invitation was sent to qualified InformationWeek subscribers.

Research Report