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Article Blog - Suresh June 2, 2014 3 minute read

Perfecting Big Data Literacy for Optimal Insight and Value – PART TWO

To harness the Big Data available today requires an understanding of information at levels we never needed before.

By Suresh Katta, Founder and CEO, Saama Technologies

To be data literate takes time.  Consider the learning curve and adoption of computer technology not so long ago.  Today it is not only the enterprise that has sophisticated IT, but also small businesses, our homes, our cars, and our personal devices that we can’t live without. This took time to adopt and learn but it started with a few people with special skills. Today, we have data scientists that rely on statistics and math to extract the most out of Big Data.

Without being Big Data literate, it is easy to say that there is no economic punch to Big Data, or it is just smoke and mirrors. But the more we understand how powerful guided analytics can be for predicting trends or outcomes, the more valuable Big Data becomes. If we are smart and data literate, we can achieve a lot. If we are not, we only get a little out of the Big Data promise.

Multiple Informational Views and Analytic Services

The deluge of data haystacks built by everyone from private enterprise, to healthcare, to government, to retail, to financial institutions can be a wealth of knowledge that isn’t necessarily a boon to just the owner of data, but for the individual. Better data management through data literacy is more than about predicting outcome of sales in a pipeline, which ones will close (although it can do that), it is about driving down healthcare costs, providing better services, and better understanding what consumers want to buy.

In the hands of analysts and domain experts that know the business and business questions, data literacy means we can see multiple informational views only possible with machine learning plus humans.  Moving measures beyond gut feeling, the complex data environment today requires guided intuition that reveals the many lenses that must be factored into a more powerful micro segmentation.

Big Data is Ready and Waiting

Big Data is very real.  Advanced analytics use of data science is the next generation of business intelligence and it is available today – many organizations have not figured out how to use it all, but are very interested in becoming proficiently data literate. Early adapters, with the help of data scientists are taking steps toward exploiting Big Data. We have customers and partners doing some really interesting things with it right now that are transforming the way business is getting done.

The first step in data literacy is to become educated in how analytics and data science can help in managing the data you already have and to get single data elements ‘ready’ to be part of a compound picture.  The promise of advanced analytics and its positive impact to managing mountains of data can offer results like: improved healthcare through better patient treatment management, safer communities through shared information between law organizations, more efficiently run companies through better processes and happier consumers through more targeted offers and enhanced shopping experiences.


This is the second of a two-part article.

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