Data: The good, the bad and the ugly—and what you can do about it

Social Media Manager, Software Group Global Conferences, IBM

You know who you are. You’re the person who cannot get rid of anything. The person who lets stuff pile up until you can’t find anything anymore. The person who looks around one day and thinks, how did this happen?

Don’t be that person. Don’t be a data hoarder. the potential of data

Data can be your worst nightmare if you let it just sit there, buried under pizza boxes and yellowed newspapers from 1985. Or it can be your best friend with the right analytics—smart and fast analytics—to extract valuable nuggets from that data and apply insight here, there and everywhere.

Successful companies know how to unlock the full potential of data, transforming information into insight and insight into action, and then using it to competitive advantage. These organizations also know how to democratize decision making and move it from the elite few to the empowered many—another key way to avoid data hoarding.

At the IBM Vision 2015 conference, Marc Altshuller, Vice President, IBM Watson Analytics at IBM said, “Organizations are harnessing and using 12 percent of the data they get. Only 12 percent. And then you start to think of all the data they are not using. What’s it going to take to unlock that next 12 percent?”

And in his article, “A Leader's Guide to Data Analytics,” Florian Zettelmeyer, Professor of Marketing and Faculty Director of the program on data analytics at the Kellogg School at Northwestern, discusses the importance of the ability to separate good data from bad data and how analytics can add value. “You cannot judge the quality of the analytics if you don’t have a very clear idea of where the data came from,” Zettelmeyer said. And he goes on to say, “If we want big data and analytics to succeed, everyone needs to feel that they have a right to question established wisdom. There has to be a culture where you can’t get away with thinking as opposed to knowing.”

Igniting interest in Spark

What is the best way to get the most out of data? Above all, be open. Embrace the open source ecosystem. IBM has been a longtime proponent of Apache Hadoop as a platform for data analytics and is now embracing the latest innovations and in-memory analytics provided by Apache Spark and its fast and highly scalable framework.

In a recent CrowdChat, Joel Horwitz, Director of Portfolio Marketing for IBM Analytics Platform, said that Spark’s importance is “equivalent to talking about Linux at the time and trying to predict Facebook.”

Get ready for leading-edge analytics

Be sure to join thousands of your peers at IBM Insight 2015, the premier conference for data and analytics. It offers a great opportunity to explore the latest innovations, industry breakthroughs and innovative advances in analytics, cloud computing, the Internet of Things, mobile computing and more. Register now for IBM Insight 2015 to save $700 off the regular registration rate.