With Big Data breaking all norms and crafting new ones, it is no surprise that many companies would be keen to and would have already started investing into Big Data technologies and implementation strategies. American marketers view Big Data implementation as the 3rd biggest priority in 2015.
For these businesses, getting the management buy-in is the least of their worries. After all it is Big Data that helps unravel patterns, trends and insights from reams of structured and unstructured data from various sources that would have otherwise remained hidden from the company’s decision makers – a big plus factor for the management who recognize the full impact of Big Data into the business’ fortunes and bottom lines.
However in order to truly justify the value potential of Big Data as a significant tech disruptor to your company, it is important to answer this critical question – “How do I acquire quality data that will give me the answers I need for my business?” Keeping this critical question in mind, today we will cover data acquisition and have an in-depth look into this fascinating aspect of Big Data.
Imagine you need to go to the local convenience store to buy goods. The first thing you need to know is what to buy. This is data. It tells you what is not present in your house and needs to be bought from the store. Without data, you would simply be roaming all around the supermarket without really knowing what to buy and what not to buy. It will also become an expensive proposition if you purchase something that wasn’t needed in the first place.
Similarly, for any decision making and deploying the prowess of Big Data, data is the fundamental element needed. Without data, all you have are millions of pieces of information that won’t help you in providing actionable insights to help in the management decision making process. Here we need to be aware of the distinction between three terms that seem similar but are vastly different from each other – data, information and knowledge.
For e.g. social media reviews and posts across multiple platforms is basic data
For e.g. Social media, in general, will not have any meaning. But when we employ scraping to extract data from websites for a business, it becomes information for that business.
For e.g. After scraping the social media data, you may employ BI and analytics to uncover your customers’ wants or preferences. This provides direction to you to put your efforts to meet these specific requirements, thus leading your company on the right path to growth
Data Acquisition is the step where you get the data in one or more of the below ways
When looking to acquire data it will be wise to look at a few considerations –
Factoring this will help getting your house in order with data acquisition that you can use for your analytics and insights needs.
With help of targeted and timely data acquisition multiple business divisions can reap the profit. Let’s look at some ways in which data acquisition provides impetus to your growth aspirations at multiple levels.
Looking at the multiple benefits on offer by data acquisition, it becomes important to ensure that the data acquired is of high quality. Quality is measured at four different benchmarks –
Data that adheres to these norms stands a good chance of helping the data analysts and data scientists to uncover actionable insights from these data. However, the marketplace is fraught with concerns over data quality. As a business owner or marketer, you need to be aware of the following issues that are likely to crop up during data acquisition and make sure you protect yourself from these problems.
Problem#1 – Data is not correct
Problem#2 – Data is not timely
Data was generated through a system or process that is not fast enough to meet the needs of the business or the big data objective.
Problem#3 – Data is not indexed
Problem#4 – Data is simply not present
The unfortunate fact is that if you do go with these issues, the real problem will be magnified manifold at time of data visualization. When the time comes to coming up with future action plan for the company, the ‘garbage-in-garbage-out’ policy will hit the decision makers pretty hard.
Now that you are aware of the key problems associated with data acquisition you have taken the right first step toward ensuring right quality and volume of data for gathering insights into your marketing and operational issues. All that remains now is to enlist the help of a web scraping expert to give wings to your data acquisition strategy.