Big Data: Is More Always Better?

When it comes to data, is more always better?  Well yes, and no.  It is important to have the capability to access, analyze, and synthesize large amounts of data. But the data has to be the right data, meaning it answers important questions. The organization also has to know the data exists, and be able to easily access it.

Bernard Marr eludes to some of these issues in his article Big Data: Too Many Answers, Not Enough Questions which appeared on Forbes.com. Marr stated: "You must focus on the things that matter most otherwise you'll drown in data.  Data is a strategic asset but it's only valuable if it's used constructively and appropriately to deliver results."  Marr goes on to say: "Every manager now has the opportunity to use data to support their decision-making with actual facts. However without the right questions, all those 'facts' can conceal the truth."

Much of the same is true with online insight communities.  Understanding the objectives, and asking the right questions up front, are the keys to getting useful information on the backend.  Clients have the ability to ask virtually an unlimited number of questions of their community, but if they go too far beyond the central issue they risk creating a lot of data that will make it difficult to flesh out the important information. Fortunately for clients the community model is iterative, offering up the ability to follow up for additional information once the initiate information is analyzed.


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