Big data has long been a buzz word in the business world, with the seemingly endless benefits more data can bring. Companies use data to spot trends and find consumer preferences, allowing for things like personal advertising and targeted pricing. While big data can be very helpful, some businesses find trouble transforming the vast amount of information into useful insights.

A recent article in DataInformed looks at five ways for business leaders to get the most out their data. Their first recommendation is for leadership to make sure to take an active role in big data operations. By putting a focus on big data in corporate offices, the culture and focus of the business can shift, allowing data to make positive impacts on operations. Another important measure for businesses to take is to first find areas of the business where value is being created and then use data to improve growth and profits. This can help to filter the data, focusing it on the places where it will benefit the most.

In their attempts to increase the effectiveness of big data, many businesses have begun to shift the focus to smart data. Smart data requires planning beforehand, to find the value areas to target, but provides a business with a much clearer picture that can be acted upon quickly. Smart data also shifts the focus to good analysis, the importance of which was shown in a recent study on big data in healthcare. Businesses cannot just collect data, but must also have the systems in place to analyze the information correctly, or else entirely wrong conclusions can be made to the detriment of the organization.

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