The risks of processing bad information

Posted by Justin Hesser on July 18, 2013

"Organizations are increasingly data led. If the data is poor, they will be led in the wrong direction."

That's according to Mike Healy, a senior consultant at Innovative Systems Incorporated. His insightful opinion was shared in a recent conversation with IT Web, and it speaks to many of the problems companies face when trying to implement and manage a big data strategy.

Big data strategies are designed to offer businesses numerous advantages. Information is supposed to give decision makers the answers they look for prior to their actions. For example, marketing executives reorganize entire campaigns based off of customer data. If a group of targeted customers start behaving in a particular way, that knowledge is obtained and processed and outreach tactics are adjusted accordingly.

But what if that information is wrong? What if a company's efforts only put the organization in a worse place than it was in before it implemented a big data strategy? Collecting, reviewing, storing and reporting on data requires a great deal of effort, and if it were all based on inaccuracies, the consequences could be devastating. 

Suppose that same marketing executive was looking at old information, or examined the wrong demographic. The data thought to be up-to-date and accurate could have been from a previous year, which would cause their subsequent marketing strategy to create more harm than good. 

To combat this, the key is to ensure that all information is timely, accurate and that those who process data always have a solid understanding of what it is they are looking at.

"In recent years, we have seen the advent of big data, with the accompanying processing power, disk availability and tools to do very clever analysis to chart current and future customer behavior," Healy said. "Everything can be analyzed now. The challenge is that, the more sophisticated your data use, and the more data you're using, the more important it is to get the data quality right."

The best way to ensure data quality is to obtain the best possible management solutions. Building a custom database software system in FileMaker can help alleviate some of the risks pertaining to inaccurate information. 

When it comes to big data, businesses cannot afford to get things wrong. That's why investing in the right management software is the best possible decision.