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Handling Big Data: is your organisation on a data binge?

New research shows that many organisations are not handling their big data properly.

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In the age of Big Data, organisations are greedily gathering more and more information. But what are they doing with it?

Many organisations today are sitting on vast amounts of data, and they are failing to use it to drive action.

"Current technologies," explain Bumblauskas et al, "allow organisations to produce and collect vast amounts of data, creating what we call the potential for a data binge as data is collected due to simplicity and not thoroughly analysed."

To address this problem, Bumblauskas et al provide a framework for turning data into actionable knowledge.

How to turn Big Data into actionable knowledge

According to their study, the key problem is how to use data to make effective decisions and actions. They argue that the primary difference between data and information is that data is a collection and interpretation process, while information generates knowledge to make decisions that drive action.

"Unlike academics who generate knowledge for the sake of knowledge, the judgement of performance for business executives are results that are outcomes of management decisions," they explain.

Bumblauskaset et al describe a four step data-to-action process. Data can be translated into information; information can be translated into knowledge; and finally, knowledge can be translated into actionable knowledge.

Examples include the use of web analytics to improve understanding of online consumer behaviour, in order to drive more sales.

Bumblauskas et al also examine the role of dashboards – visual displays which consolidate and arrange data – as a helpful tool to help business process managers to make decisions.

"The ability to analyse meaningful and relevant data and convert data to information, knowledge, and ultimately action in time to favorably influence an organisation is a key competitive differentiator," they state.

"In this paper, we explore reasons for this condition and offer practical suggestions for agile companies in the twenty-first century business environment by developing a conceptual framework to convert big data to actionable knowledge."

Read the research ▶

This video is based on "Big data analytics: transforming data to action", published in Business Process Management Journal

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