The collection of data has never been more important in both the private and public sectors. With the likes of Amazon’s AWS cloud service now offering their Snowmobile data truck that will pull up to your server room, copy your exabytes of data on request, and then drive away to place it in the cloud (saving potentially years of upload time), the size of the data collection effort often relating to customers past and present is immense.
Big Data & It’s Implications
The era of big data is certainly upon us. Collecting the data isn’t the big problem now. For companies and public services like the healthcare sector, sifting through the data and organizing it into useful records that inform at the right time to make better decisions is the real challenge ahead of us. Big data and its data management are becoming a specialist area in its own right now because of the complexities involved.
In the health field, health informatics is a fairly new area that specializes in the collection and management of computer health files. There’s an online master in health informatics degree at the University of Cincinnati where students learn the fine art of data management, protecting systems from a security breach and what to do for disaster management. Their online MSHI program prepares health staff for the patient data challenges ahead from privacy concerns to merging technology and data record access together to let both doctors and nurses have access to patient records when and where they need it.
The concept of data analytics for anyone who owned a website was something that often passed them by. Some webmasters in the early days didn’t know who was visiting their website, how long they stayed or what pages they viewed. They might have known how many people visited yesterday, but beyond that, the information was far too limited to be really useful.
With the advent of Google Analytics, a free web analytics SaaS from the search giant, the ability to see how many people were visiting, what they did, which pages were the most popular, the average on-page time and host of other pertinent information were available at your fingertips.
Using Data to Get an Edge Over the Competition
Data is becoming a specialist area now. How to collect it, store it and analyze it for potential advantages. Managers can pose the question whether the company has enough stored information to properly determine whether existing customers will approve of a new product launch, a redesign or simply a new flavor or color choice. Data experts can then determine the best way to go about confirming the information that’s being requested using all the available resources available to them with in-house data, along with public information sources like message boards, Facebook groups, Twitter feeds, and more.
It’s fair to say these days that it’s all in the data. For busy or cash-strapped public and private organizations, not having to guess saves money and time while speeding up implementation of ideas to turn them into reality.
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