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The Decision Factor offers insightful comments and observations on analytics—from views on new technology approaches and market dynamics to the latest industry trends driving demand for faster, smarter information analysis. This blog contains personal views, thoughts, and opinions from SAP employees, mentors, and friends working in the area of analytics. It’s not endorsed by SAP nor does it constitute an official communication of SAP.


Who’s Afraid of the Big, Bad…Data?

 Who’s Afraid of the Big, Bad…Data?Those of you familiar with the children’s story, “The Three Little Pigs,” know that a big bad wolf visits each of the pigs’ houses in anticipation of a savory meal. However, (spoiler alert here) only one little pig’s house ends up being strong enough not to be blown over by the big bad wolf. Well, that’s because that smart little pig knew that having a strong foundation for his house—in this case building it with bricks and mortar —would shield and protect his investment and literally save his skin when he needed it most.

Building a Strong “Data House”

What does the data management foundation look like in our organizations? Are we dedicating enough time and resources to the way we manage data—like building data policies, data standards, or implementing data governance strategies across the enterprise?

Or are we just focused on the end result—wildly enjoying and sifting through enormous volumes of new and exciting data and feeding our real-time addiction for data consumption—with complete disregard for the accuracy, reliability, or trustworthiness of the data? Sounds to me like a prime opportunity for the big bad wolf to come knocking at our door.

Protect Your House So it Won’t Be Blown Over

Establishing a strong data management foundation upfront will help you down the road when you try to exploit the opportunities that come with big data, analytics, or business intelligence. Bad data is the big bad wolf that your organization needs to defend itself against. In fact, poor data quality is the primary reason that 40 percent of the anticipated value of all business initiatives is never achieved. (Gartner Inc., Measuring the Business Value of Data Quality, October 10, 2011.)

How Will the Tale End for Your Organization?

In this era of big data analytics, you need to take action to address data management issues—before they negatively impact your business processes and decisions. The bottom line? If you want to make meaningful use of your data, you need meaningful data.

Gaining this infrastructure is critical to your success. And here’s proof —“Through 2015, organizations that integrate high-value, diverse, and new information types and sources into a coherent information management infrastructure are expected to financially outperform their industry peers by more than 20%.” (Gartner Inc., Predicts 2011: Enterprise Information Management Programs Connect IT and Business, November 25, 2010.)

So, who’s afraid of the big bad wolf? Not you—not with that strong information management infrastructure you built.

I’d like to hear from you. How are you strengthening or building your data management foundation?