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We are entering a new era when it comes to Big Data. A term that started as a buzzword and left many scratching their heads a decade ago, is ready to meet the moment it deserves and demonstrate its positive impact to organizations across sectors and geographies. Big Data can help you get the edge over a competitor, reinvent your business, differentiate your customer experience, create new revenue streams and so much more. Why then, are many organizations still not tapping into its full potential?
Research shows 83% of CEOs want their organization to be more data-driven but for every 10 organizations where actions are largely driven by data, 23 are struggling to be data-driven. The reason for this is complex, but a big part of it lies in the fact that Big Data is often misunderstood. It is time to set the record straight on the biggest Big Data myths out there today:
Myth #1: A PhD is Required
There was a time when gaining insights from Big Data required a team of data scientists to manually manipulate hundreds of spreadsheets. That world as we knew it is gone. Advances in software have democratized access to Big Data, automating how it is organized and analyzed to make it useful to those without deeply technical backgrounds. It is important to consider not only the quality of your data, but also how useable it is for everyday decision-making within your organization. 67% of organizations in a recent study said they need more data than their capabilities can provide yet 70% are already bringing in data faster than they can process and analyze it. By using software to enable more people to access, analyze and visualize the right data for their specific job needs, organizations can exponentially grow the value Big Data can have on their businesses.
Myth #2: The Bigger the Better
At the beginning of 2020, the number of bytes in the digital universe was 40 times bigger than the number of stars in the observable universe. There is a lot of data out there, but more is not always best. What is most important in making Big Data work for you is ensuring you have the right data. Take for example a Department of Transportation (DOT) evaluating trends in traffic. Smartphone GPS data, while vast, could skew trends in congestion. It may incorrectly suggest there is a traffic jam because it detected 30 smartphones and not accounted for the fact that they are associated with a single vehicle, a bus. If that DOT were to instead use locations of connected vehicles (not smartphone-carrying passengers), that smaller data set would show a more accurate illustration of congestion.
Myth #3: You Need Massive Storage for Massive Data
With the growth in cloud capabilities, Big Data is more accessible than ever before because it does not require you to buy massive amounts of storage. Big Data providers can use large cloud storage platforms to ingest billions of data points and flexibly scale processing of that information depending on what is required at any given moment, meaning you don’t have to worry about where to store the data. At Wejo, we ingest 12 billion data points a day and have over 6.5 petabytes in storage. Because we use powerful cloud storage platforms, we do not have to process all that data all the time. Instead, we can quickly change computing power depending on what the job requires and at lightning-fast speed. This flexible model allows us to store data efficiently for our customers.
Myth #4: Big Data = Big Bills
Some smaller organizations have told us that the reason they have not embarked on a Big Data initiative for their businesses is due to the sheer cost of it all. The reality? Big Data does not have to break the bank. With today’s large cloud storage platforms and flexible software subscription models, data access can often be customized to meet your budget needs. How often you pull data, how much of it you need, and how many people need it all factor into its costs. Consider partners that will bring access to the right data for your business, but do not require large upfront fees or data acquisition. At Wejo, we give customers the option to decide on the frequency of their connected vehicle data (CVD) and the geography it comes from. This enables more organizations to use our data for good in a cost-effective way, pulling only what they need when they need it.
Myth #5: It Brings ‘Big’ Risk
Whenever information is involved, the risk of that information getting hacked and used to inflict harm is always a headline. Big Data is no different. There is indeed a huge responsibility that comes with using Big Data sources – ensuring your vendors are accessing and managing information securely and ethically. The myth is believing Big Data is inherently risky. It is not if it is managed correctly. In fact, Big Data today is in many ways more secure than ever before – from cloud storage options that replicate information to ensure backup to advances in encryption and identify management that protects against wrongful access.
Big Data has so much potential to positively impact your business, but it can be complex and intimidating to get started. At Wejo, we are passionate about data for good. We spend our days making data work for you – bringing our customers accurate insights in an easy, secure way.