It has been said that more data has been created in the past two years than in the entire previous history of the human race.  We are now using terms like Big Data and zettabytes on a daily basis.  Business Intelligence tools make it easier than ever to mine through the massive amounts of raw data to provide insights into your customers and your business. Organizations of all sizes are now able to use data analytics to drive business decisions.  But is it possible to have too much data?

Quality Data

More isn’t always better.  First, from a technical standpoint, the algorithms that these tools use can be flawed. Many of these algorithms use linear models, so one would assume more data is better, and even more is even better! However, the more data they use, the more opportunities there are for flaws to arise.  Especially in the hands of someone new to analytics who doesn’t understand how the models deal with various attributes.

And let’s look at the data being fed into the models.  How confident are you in the quality of that data?  Let’s take for example, a CRM that creates new records based on downloads of materials from your website.  Do you have data quality checks in place to ensure the customer entered Illinois instead of IL?  If Bob Smith registered for your webinar, but Robert Smith is the contact in your database, did it create a duplicate record?

Business Intelligence solutions need rich sets of data that are deduped, accurate, and complete in order to provide you with high quality insights you can use.  And frankly, an ugly visualization of high quality rich data is far more useful than a beautiful one of incomplete or duplicate data.

Actionable Insight

Data findings are great.  Data findings that don’t prompt action, are not.  For example, you might do an analysis on upsell opportunities predicting future buying behavior of consumers who purchase one of your products.  But if you don’t use that information to direct your sales and marketing efforts to target that consumer behavior, that analysis was a waste of time and not worth anything.

The important part here is that PEOPLE become a part of the process again and give perspective to the information being presented.  When these insights are tied to your business goals and objectives, they are more likely to drive action because they directly relate to aspects of your business that you are focused on.  Additionally, presenting clear, specific, and relevant data to users in a timely manner, enables them to take action faster and more appropriately.

Of course, this should be reinforced through a culture that values the benefits that a Business Intelligence solution can bring to your organization and a culture that supports user action from the insights it provides.  If you would like to discuss how you can transform your organization through the power of Business Intelligence, contact us at info@peters.com to connect and learn more!