Challenges faced in leveraging big data to generate business insights

Big data is a vast set of data that has no established or standard database management tool.

For example, a study from DOMO entitled “Data Never Sleeps 5.0” found that we produce about 2.5 quintillion bytes of data daily, and that number will only multiply in the future.

This big data is from the variety of social media applications and platforms, online shopping applications, employee information, Global Positioning System signals, and other sources.

While this influx of information is beneficial to businesses, researchers and service providers who might be undertaking big data projects, it also has its challenges, as we will see below.

Handling data growth

One of the most significant challenges in harnessing and leveraging big data lies in its ability to grow exponentially. A study found that the size of big data doubles every two years.

This poses a challenge for researchers and businesses that collect and analyse data.

Furthermore, in addition to this challenge, big data is hard to structure and this can be pretty frustrating without mentioning the cost and time spent in trying to manage this big data.

However, some companies have employed technologies such as tiering, deduplication and compressing to minimize the costs and time associated with handling big data.

Generating insights in real-time

While some companies might be interested in storing the big data that they harness, their primary concern is using it to get relevant insight in real-time in order to leverage it.

Companies want to use this data to facilitate their decision making to create new products, services and features that suit their current and potential client base requirements.

Therefore, the main challenge faced by these various organisations is finding the right analytical tools to collect and evaluate this big data in order to gain valuable insight quickly.

Recruiting experts in managing big data

Because big data is a complex field, it goes without saying that the experts in this field are few and charge highly for their services since the services are highly demanded.

This puts companies in quite the predicament. If they intend to undertake big data projects, they must be willing to set a considerable budget aside to hire these professionals.

Alternatively, they can opt to leverage self-service analytical solutions and Machine Learning software applications that can serve the same purpose as the industry professionals.

Another good investment can involve training their employees to facilitate them in managing big data if they do not feel the urge to outsource the role of analysing big data.

Harmonising the various significant data sources

The vastness of big data makes collecting, storing and analysing it difficult. The sources are numerous and so as a company, finding a structure and insights can be overwhelming.

Significant big data sources include social media application platforms, emails, employee recruitment information, online shopping application platforms, among others.

Collecting data from all these various sources can be expensive, considering both in terms of money spent on operational costs, time spent to analyse and hiring a professional team.

Not to mention harmonising it all to establish trends and patterns to generate reports.

Data validation

Data validation is another challenge faced by companies dealing with big data. Two systems can give you different results of the same variable, for example, level of profits.

Two other systems with similar data might provide varying levels of annual profits. A solution to this is data governance, but this does not come without its own challenges.

This is because it requires the joint effort of the policy change and the right technology.

Organisational resistance

Resistance by stakeholders can also pose a challenge in adopting and utilising big data.

For example, employees are generally resistant to change. With big data, it is complex, vast, and demanding of their time and skills, making it an even harder sell of an assignment.

This therefore presents a big problem due to the fact that big data requires genuine effort on everyone’s part if it is to be properly and successfully collected, analysed and exploited.

Therefore, it is essential to garner their support when it comes to employees and even executive management because adequate resources will not be injected without them.

Do you require the services of experts to guide you through the procedures necessary to have a successful big data project? Then, schedule a call with one of the experts today!

Gerald Ainomugisha is a freelance Content Solutions Provider (CSP) offering both content and copy writing services for businesses of all kinds, especially in the niches of management, marketing and technology.