The Gap between Data and Answers

Big data gets big press these days.  Actually having big data can cause big headaches.  That is because no one actually wants big data; they want big answers.  The basic path of “where you are” to “where you want to be” related to big data looks like the following:

Starting Point – A question or problem
Step 1 – Data
Step 2 – Information
Step 3 – Analysis
Finish Line – Answers or solutions

You need to go from a question to an answer…and data is just the first step.  Notice that data and information are two different things.  Having a bunch of data does not tell you a damn thing by itself.  You can actually drown in data.  That data has to be broken down into some form of information that can be understood by either a person or a program.  This is the problem that big data companies solve – breaking down enormous data sets into small information sets.  Smaller information sets can go through some pretty complex analysis to identify trends, statistics, and ultimately answers.  To move fast, you need the tools, services, and people that get you closer to answers.  It is all about answers.

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