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Making Better Decisions with Big Data

Big data may be all the rage. But if the quality and integrity of the data that’s collected and used from structured and unstructured data sources is suspect, then business leaders won’t be properly armed with the insights they need to make well-informed decisions.

datainsights Making Better Decisions with Big DataWhen business leaders can access company performance data faster, react more nimbly to business events, and be more accurate in their decision making than their competitors, “then your company can begin to distinguish itself in the marketplace,” notes Aberdeen Group researcher Nathaniel Rowe in a recent report about gaining accurate information from big data.

According to Aberdeen’s survey of 125 organizations, 56% of best-in-class organizations, or the top 20% of aggregate performance scorers, report they’re using faster, more complex analytics to gain a competitive advantage over their peers.

This group of analytics leaders claims that 93% of its business data is accurate, while the middle 50% of organizations say that 77% of business data is accurate, and the bottom 30% say that only 57% of their data is accurate, according to the report.

But as the saying goes, the cream rises to the top.

Not only are 46% of the best-in-class organizations demanding real-time access to big data – which is more than four times the rate of average and laggard firms combined – but 91% of business data is delivered on time.

One of the strengths of advanced analytics tools is their ability to help decision makers not only find the information that they’re looking for, but also to help them discover insights that might otherwise remain hidden.

This axiom also applies to identifying the quality of the data that’s being used; identifying potential gaps in the types of data being used; as well as identifying the integrity of data being applied.

Depending on the application of the data, improved data quality can have a dramatic effect on business performance. For instance, incorrect data, often called dirty data, in a company’s marketing database can “do anything from waste money to annoy, and possibly lose, customers,” notes Rick Cook in an article on

Indeed, 67% of 600 C-level executives, senior management, and IT leaders worldwide say data inaccuracy is a major problem that their organizations struggle with on a daily basis, according to a joint study by Capgemini and The Economist Intelligence Unit.

However, when organizations are able to work through data quality issues, in part through the use of big data analytics, business performance can be greatly enhanced.

In fact, companies that emphasize decision making based on data and analytics perform 5% to 6% better than firms that rely on intuition and experience, according to one academic study that’s cited by the Capgemini/EIU report.

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