It seems obvious to us, but apparently, some folks need a reminder. Harvard Business Review proclaims, “You Don’t Need Big Data, You Need the Right Data.” Perhaps that distinction has gotten lost in the Big Data hype.
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In order for businesses to decide which data is worth their attention, the article suggests three guiding questions: “What decisions drive waste in your business?” “Which decisions could you automate to reduce waste?” (Example—Amazon’s pricing algorithms) and “What data would you need to do so?” (Example—Uber requires data on potential riders’ locations to efficiently send out drivers.) See the article for more notes on each of these guidelines.
Phi Beta Iota: All IT managers, without exception, are lacking in imagination. They don't do requirements definition (what do we need to know), collection management (who knows what we need to know), processing of 100% in real-time (non-trivial but someone has to learn how to do this), or decision-support (visualization and presentation to busy people who understand three colors (red, yellow, green) and deal best with post-card size information deliveries on the fly. No one holds anyone accountable for failing across these functions — this is especially true of the largely worthless US secret intelligence community that processes less than 1% of what it collects, and contributes nothing of substance to Whole of Government strategy, policy, operations, and acquisition.