Using database software to make sense of big data

Posted by Justin Hesser on September 12, 2012

According to leading research and consulting group McKinsey & Company, big data is becoming an increasingly important asset to all businesses – regardless of size or industry.

In a study released by the group, 15 out of 17 sectors in the United States have more data digitally stored per company than the entire United States Library of Congress's digital archives.

In addition, the company found that there is a 60 percent potential increase in operating margins for retailers that use big data effectively. 

But, CompTIA, a nonprofit IT consultant, found that many companies do not have a thorough understanding of all the data they're gathering. The survey also found that most companies are using big data for Web analytics, with 15 percent using it to measure email marketing campaigns and 12 percent using big data for social media monitoring.

"As expected for an emerging technology with an evolving definition, many executives are still moving along the big data learning curve," said Tim Herbert, vice president of research at CompTIA. "Not every business will need a big data strategy. But, just about every business will need to effectively aggregate, store, manage and analyze the data they do have, regardless of its volume, velocity or variety."

In order to effectively do so, companies will need to invest in custom database software that can aggregate and help interpret this big data.

By using database software such as FileMaker, companies will be able to effectively gather and compartmentalize all the terabytes of data that they may be collecting.

In addition, McKinsey's report also cited a potential lack of professionals that would be needed to help analyze this data in the years to come. Companies that may be struggling with understanding the raw numbers on their own may find that this software can aid in the implementation of data-centered IT branch.