/// In Media, Big Data Is Booming but Big Results Are Lacking

May 20, 2013  |  All Things Digital


The New York Times named 2012 the crossover year for Big Data : As a term and as a concept, Big Data broke through from the tech circle and into mainstream consciousness. (So much so that even Dilbert’s boss was talking about it .) We’ve seen huge advances in our ability to generate, collect and store an explosion of data points: 90 percent of the world’s data has been accumulated in the last two years alone . We’re generating 2.5 quintillion bytes of data daily, and every serious company is dutifully logging and contextualizing every impression, every click and every purchase with excruciating detail. That said, shockingly little happens to the information once it has been stowed in the database. A good friend gave voice to this dirty little industry secret the other day: “Nobody wants to use the data.” He’s remarkably spot-on. Even though almost every CEO says their companies are becoming data-driven, the fact is that most high-level decisions are still being made from bullet points, not data points. What the data revolution brought us was systems for collecting data — but collecting is the easy part. And even more importantly, it’s the safe part. The Real Problem: Data Phobia The trouble with data is that it asks as many questions as it answers. Your engagement is down, bounce rate is up, search traffic is up — why is that, and what can we do to make it higher, lower and higher? Data almost never hands you the answers or insights directly; it just illuminates the issue. And it illuminates a whole bunch of them at once, so it’s up to you to figure out what the priorities are. If this problem is an “opportunity in disguise,” most executives seem quickly scared off by the masquerade. In truth, Big Data raises the bar for how smart you have to be as an executive. The easy answer — leaving the analytics to the analytics department — relieves you of the responsibility of figuring it all out, as though it’s unknowable to anyone without a degree in data science. But it also relieves you of the answers

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In Media, Big Data Is Booming but Big Results Are Lacking


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