4 Disastrous Big Data Mistakes Your Brand is making

August 16, 2017
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Sun Tsu once said, “every battle is won before it is ever fought.” He was referring to the importance of information, which is a crucial asset on both the battlefield and the business world. In the 21st century, big data is the commodity that brands rely on to compete.

Big data is incredibly valuable, but many brands don’t know how to manage it properly. If you are making any of these big data blunders, you may be relying on inaccurate or incomplete information, which can cost your business dearly.

1. Think Carefully Before Moving Big Data

Big data is a double edged sword. You can store millions of data points of information, which can be incredibly valuable for your business. There is one downside to storing so much information though – it is very difficult to move.

Harry Mangalam, an information technology professor at the University of California at Irvine, published a white paper earlier this month on the challenges of big data. He said transferring big data over a WAN is very difficult, especially if it needs to be encrypted. It’s even difficult to move bulk data with tar & netcat utilities.

Of course, sometimes you have no choice about moving big data. However, you should only do so if you have no alternative.

2. Don’t Pay for Each Data Byte

A couple years ago, Cory Isaacson, President of Rogue Wave Software wrote about the scalability of big data. Here’s an excerpt from his book.

“When managing a successful expanding application, the ability to scale becomes a critical need. Whether you are introducing the latest new game, a highly popular mobile application, or an online analytics service, it is important to be able to accommodate rapid growth in traffic and data volume to keep your users happy.”

Isaacson’s words turned out to be truer than anyone in the industry could have imagined. The scalability of big data has helped the average brand save 1.6% in annual revenue on hosting fees.

However, some unscrupulous big data hosting providers have spoiled this benefit by charging for every gigabyte. You may need to choose a company with a different bandwidth plan. If you pay for every gigabyte of data you store, then you are defeating one of the primary benefits of big data in the first place.

3. Focusing on Quantity over Quality

You have the means to store data on just about anything you can think of, and you can do so very cheaply. However, just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.

Consider a Bosnia tourism company. They can store data on every single restaurant in the country’s major cities. However, most of these places are probably not relevant to their customers.

It can be very difficult to sort through so much information, so it’s best to only store information that is actually relevant to your business model.

4. Don’t Flatten Your Data

Shant Hovsepian, co-founder of Arcadia Data, said that too many brands fail to analyze data in its natural form. They flatten data too much, so its expressiveness often gets lost. He said people make this mistake the most with JSON because it can take many different structures.