Today, leading companies in every industry are using Big Data to improve their competitive advantage, capture a new market, and innovate faster. However, while there is a lot of big opportunities, there are also a lot of big challenges. It’s a herculean task to manage such complex datasets like a traditional database. Every step – from collection, curation, sharing and analysis – poses new questions and risks. Here’s what you need to know.
Big Data Management
When you’ve got that amount of data, the biggest challenge is how to store it and categorize it in a meaningful, strategic and secure way. On the technical side, enterprises must move away from conventional relational database management systems (RDBMS) and switch to NoSQL or non-relational databases. Aside from this, they need to get NoSQL tools. The problem is to know which one to pick since each offering is so different and has its own pros and cons. Thus, the huge decision of choosing the best Big Data management tool comes at a big cost and a big risk.
The problem is further complicated by limitations of scale. Big data projects can expand quickly so it’s critical to know if the existing infrastructure meets the new demands on volume and workload. Companies need to pick big data management tools that fit not just today, but tomorrow’s needs as well. Even if the digital world is changing so rapidly, you still don’t know what new trend or technology will suddenly disrupt your business.
Big Data Expertise
With the big data boom, there’s just not enough big data scientists and analysts to go around. Enterprises are faced with this huge skill gap and lack the professionals who can turn this data into actionable business insights. The problem is even worse for smaller companies who don’t have the deep pockets of the industry leaders. They can’t afford to hire the experts who will champion their data-driven business efforts. The data they have is underutilized and under-analyzed, and therefore not useful for their revenue growth.
While Big Data and other technologies should level the playing field, the reality is that the game is still won by the people only who can understand how to use it.
Big Data Security
Recently, the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica scandal showed the world about how a data security breach can bring even a powerful business to its knees. All the data it collects, stores and manages come from people who are understandably concerned about their privacy and security. Any breach or violation of trust can lead to legal issues and a public relations nightmare. For Facebook, it even led to a huge financial loss, as the value of shares toppled soon after the scandal broke.
These are just some of the challenges that companies face as we enter the age of Big Data. While there are many opportunities and certainly a plethora of new tools to help in data collection, curation, storage, analysis and application; there are still many issues that need to be resolved. The bad news is that it will take time to find the ideal answer. The good news is that everyone is in the same boat.