Data, data, data. Businesses across all industries are faced with not only the challenge of storing and processing ever-growing data, but also utilizing it to draw actionable insights. Not only do businesses have their own internal data sources, but in today’s world there are also external data sources that can prove to be just as critical – but how do you process and integrate.
Maia Sisk of IBM’s Big Data and Analytics Hub blog provides this perspective, “while many businesses are aware of the potential value of external data—including event, social, weather, and geospatial data—many organizations don’t have the time or resources needed to fully leverage that data once they get their hands on it.” External data is often unstructured, it can be fragmented, and all-in-all difficult to integrate with your own internal data. Even if integration does happen, as Mr. Sisk points out, many businesses still lack the internal expertise (or time!) to draw actionable insights from it.
Ms. Sisk points to cloud data solutions as the answer to help businesses make sense of external data sources. Before jumping in, she provides these considerations when choosing a partner:
- Data variety. The cloud data solution provider should ensure that decisions are made based on all available data –open data, business-owned data. It should also provide you access to high velocity data from mobile devices and Internet of Things sensors
- Comprehensive. When looking at cloud data solution try to find one partner that can bring it all together. This will reduce the time needed to manage down the road
- Real-time. Look for a solution that processes data in real-time and can deliver actionable insights to a diverse set of end users
Finally, create a solid strategy. What does your company hope to achieve? What questions do you want to answer? What systems do you have (or not have) to react to insights? Use this to communicate with potential cloud solution partners so your solution can be tailored to best meet your needs.