Do you really know what big data is? 3 common misconceptions about Big Data.

BIG. DATA. Such an intimidating term, as if “data” is not complicated enough. *huffs*

If you are exploring the big data analytic on your first time, you may find it baffling and slightly scary – wondering about what it can do to you and your business. Well, that had occurred to me too, and to tell you the truth, it is not as scary and complicated as you think. Big Data is becoming more and more prominent (and important, and useful) in our lives. As I learned from my peers in various industries, most of the new users of the technology did not know how to use the huge amount of data accumulated worldwide, and most of them goes to waste. But today, with the help of big data analytics, we are able to dissect those data and gain insights that may turn into business leads. Big data technologies are undeniably the revolutionary tools for businesses of our time. So, let’s clear those misconceptions we have/had.

1. Big Data has all the right answers to all problems.

There are many big data technologies out in the market today, and they are designed to help handling enormous amounts of data. But these technologies are merely machines with algorithms – without specific directions and input, it can’t possibly get us the info we want. It may lead to erroneous conclusions, causing more confusions than providing solutions to problems. Hence, it is important for us to first have in mind – What we need big data to outsource for us? What are the best solutions to problem faced? Fear not, as this is not rocket science. Everyone will be able to make use of big data as long as the person is able to rationalize the problem, and get the right data input, etc. So no, big data does not have the answers to all problems, but with the help of big data, we might be able to draw conclusions to most problems.

2. Big Data is just for big businesses.

Big companies like Alibaba and Amazon manages big data by hiring data analysts and research firms, giving the impression that big data is very costly. This might lead many smaller businesses to incorrectly assume that they can’t afford to use these big data technologies. Luckily, there are massive amounts of data and analytical tools available online and offline which small businesses can make use of. Google analytics, Kissmetrics and ClearStory Data are a few excellent solutions that won’t cost that much to gain insights. Even at Datamation, we have analytics and business insight tools which are suitable for all, from SMEs to big corporations, to generate reports and summary dashboards which can be very useful on a daily basis. Of course, the scale of data small businesses get might not be as impressive as what big companies have, but little data can be just as useful. Analysis that reveals the factors affecting clients’ product preferences or hidden patterns to predict future sales, should provide a good start to creating better business plans. These insights enable them to take the best actions for their businesses.

3. Backed with A.I, Big Data will outperform the human brain.

Perhaps in the future, scientists might finally succeed in creating sophisticated, intelligent machines that are more competent than humans in managing the big data. But until then, humans play a huge role in planning, reading and making use of big data. Not everything can be deciphered by advanced algorithms - machine technologies are not able to make sense of newly established business processes and data outliers, nor can they confidently draw correlations that involve the current market, or actual human feelings, etc. The decision making processes still require the human expertise to link relevant contents and build data relationships to draw meaningful, real-life conclusions. In addition, at times, the data analytics might churn out conflicting evidences that demand a human intellect to make sense of the differences.

Big Data has become the new mantra in the data-driven world we’re living. It has open doors for many business strategists and planners to plan a brighter future of their companies by incorporating valuable data-driven insights. Even the smallest business leads can bring about a great impact on businesses, which is why the power to manage the intense flow of information in this age has become one of the best assets to acquire. This “flow” of information will only grow stronger and the sooner you realize of the driving force of the Big Data, the better it will be for your business. So now… Since you have understood it better, time to dig into those analytic softwares and start reaping useful insights!