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Companies are investing like crazy in Big Data. But many of them don’t have much to show for their efforts. Possible they never will.

Companies are investing like crazy in data scientists, data warehouses, and data analytics software. But many of them don’t have much to show for their efforts. It’s possible they never will.


The biggest reason that investments in big data fail to pay off, though, is that most companies don’t do a good job with the information they already have. They don’t know how to manage it, analyze it in ways that enhance their understanding, and then make changes in response to new insights. Companies don’t magically develop those competencies just because they’ve invested in high-end analytics tools. They first need to learn how to use the data already embedded in their core operating systems, much the way people must master arithmetic before they tackle algebra. Until a company learns how to use data and analysis to support its operating decisions, it will not be in a position to benefit from big data.

Stashed in: Big Data!, HBR, Big Data

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Wisdom is more important than knowledge.

Knowledge is more important than information.

Information is more important than data.

And many companies are not even good at turning data into information.

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