Do you remember when the data was measured in gigabytes? These days are over. Now we’re trying to embarrass our brain with terms like Zettabyte, Yottabyte and Brontobyte.
In 2015 alone, companies generated around 7.9 zettabytes of data worldwide. It is expected that this number will more than quadruple by 2020. In most organizations, all of this data is stored on several overly complex and time-consuming systems. Only 12% of them are used.
Employees have reached their breaking point. More than 90% of respondents admitted that they had ignored data without fully reading it, and more than half said that too much information affected the quality of their work. Adding up the total time spent browsing the data equals one full workday per week.
Why? Because contextless data does not make sense – and it blocks employees who are increasingly under pressure to understand them.
Related Topics: Big data combined with machine learning helps companies make smarter decisions
Rather than generating business value, data burdens the productivity of many organizations. Almost 60% of executives find it hard to turn data into actionable information, and 91% of companies can not do it fast enough to make decisions. What they often miss is the context.
To understand the relationship between data, context, and information, it’s helpful to look at your company’s data as a pyramid: raw data forms the basis, formatted information provides more context, and the most helpful information to influence the company’s decisions.
Data alone is just noise.
At the bottom of the pyramid, you have all your raw data – a wealth of untreated and easy-to-use facts stored in databases and spreadsheets. It’s certainly a potential gold mine, but every mine contains much more slag than ore.
At a time when it only takes two days to generate as much data as humanity has accumulated from the beginning of civilization to the year 2003, many companies can suffocate under the weight of their own data and emanate advanced skills from their employees in the data analysis. mine
“Data is becoming an increasingly important part of business decisions and is aimed at people who have little or no knowledge of how to use and interpret data,” says Barry Devlin, Business Consultant.
Today’s data is available in various formats, which are stored in several complex systems or distributed in different departments. Therefore, three out of four companies say they want to rely on the data, but less than 30% are successful.
Raw data has limited business value without context because it does not give employees the context they need to understand who they are, when and where that happened, what happened, and so on. By sending raw data to your employees, they can not be fully used. The data must be processed for analysis, otherwise they remain largely unusable.
Related: 5 lucrative careers that require skills in data analysis
The information puts the data in context.
In the middle of the pyramid is information or data with context. Information is a collection of data points that help people understand what is being measured, that is, they answer the questions “who, what, where, when.” Organizations get information by processing, summarizing, and organizing their data in more user-friendly formats, such as: Eg data visualizations, dashboards or reports.
“Contextualization is critical to turning crazy data into real information-information that can be used as actionable information for smart business decisions,” says Wired’s Alissa Lorentz.
It’s a lot less work for deci- sion makers than raw data to understand what’s going on. However, it remains to analyze what needs to be done with this information.
Ideas need to be usable to drive change.
At the top of the pyramid, we find information that brings real commercial value. They answer the question “So what?”
“It’s the most valuable asset in collecting, processing, and analyzing your data, and for your data-driven success, it’s important to maximize the actionable insights you get with your analytics investments,” said data strategist Brent Dykes.
The most valuable ideas are those that will cause you to rethink or move in a new direction instead of just answering a question. To generate actionable information, companies need to analyze their information and draw useful conclusions that influence decisions and lead to change.
Related topics: Without good analysis, big data is just a big waste
And although the information analysis will yield much information, not all are exploitable. Organizations that can identify and communicate relevant, personalized information to their right people can use their data to make better decisions faster.
“At the end of the day our overflowing spirits want to be fed with a spoon,” says Lorentz. “We want key signals and well-organized summaries of relevant and intriguing information that empowers us with knowledge and enhances our intelligence.”
And finally, the goal is to bring employees back to the forefront with tools that make them more efficient and intelligent. Employees become more productive and make better decisions.