You can’t start to deal with the challenge of Big Data if you haven’t gotten your Little Data problems under control. All of the excitement surrounding today’s Big Data craze is having two huge effects on businesses worldwide:
- Larger enterprises are sticking their toes into the Big Data pond, and trying to cash in on the benefits that the Big Data gurus have promised for those companies that embrace this new trend.
- Companies of all sizes are acknowledging that they’re not ready to embrace Big Data because they haven’t done an adequate job taking advantage of the benefits that come from getting their ordinary data organized.
There are so many definitions of Big Data that it’s hard to know what its proponents are urging us to do. Some Big Data consultants define Big Data by the technology that it uses. Big Data is all about Hadoop, these consultants tell us, while ordinary data is usually processed using Microsoft SQL Server for larger enterprises, and Microsoft Access for smaller organizations.
Truth is, ordinary data is structured. Invoices have individual fields that contain detailed data. So do inventory records, accounting records, and all of the ordinary databases that are used by companies to manage their sales and finances.
SQL Server is the perfect tool for an organization that has lots of structured data. It’s fairly easy for IT personnel to turn your billing, distribution, customer service, and fulfillment systems into a database that marketers can use to increase sales. Help marketers understand who is buying your products and services, and they’ll increase next month’s sales.
Big Data is about unstructured data. The gurus of Big Data promise that they can capture social media “likes” and “follows” and turn them into marketing information that will increase sales. They can turn telephone conversations and helpdesk logs into money-making information.
A recent study confirmed that most organizations aren’t doing enough with their ordinary, structured data. According to the CMO Council’s “Applying Timely, Targeted, and Tailored Insight to Improve the Pipeline” 2013 report (as described in the December 2013 issue of Direct Marketing News magazine):
- 79 percent of business-to-business (B2B) marketers complain that their companies need to improve the accuracy and reliability of their customer data.
- Only 19 percent of companies have customer relationship management
(CRM) systems that are integrated with their marketing automation, cloud-based services, and the analytics software that they use to track social media activity.
For most enterprises, the best course of action is clear: Use a database system such as Microsoft SQL Server or Microsoft Access to turn your structured data into valuable information. When that process has been accomplished, start to look at the rewards that Big Data can bring to your company.
Develop the discipline and the processes needed to manage structured data, and you’ll be in a better position to work with Big Data. As part of your SQL Server recovery regimen, please look at DataNumen SQL Recovery, an application that identifies corrupt SQL files and repairs them. For more information, please visit https://www.datanumen.com/sql-recovery/
Alan Chen is President and Chairman of DataNumen, Inc., which is the world leader in data recovery technologies, including Access recovery and SQL recovery software products. For more information visit www.datanumen.com