“The problem we have is generating reports from our 26 different states who all use different data sources.” As I listened to this Director of Business Intelligence from a Swiss company at the recent TDWI Conference in San Diego, a line from Samuel Coleridge’s poem “Rime of the Ancient Mariner” popped into my head: Water, water, everywhere, Nor any drop to drink.
Many of the customers I spoke with all suffered from a pain similar to this BI Director. They had ample amounts of data but had no intuitive way to access it. Reports were gathered from one data source only to yield little insight when compared with another. One TDWI attendee captured this frustration in Twitter, “Anybody out there feel like they have too many #BI tools and are just scratching the surface of each one of them?” Data, data everywhere, nor any drop to drink.
With this explosion of data, many companies are asking the question “How does this affect my business?” This forward looking mentality hits roadblock after roadblock when trying to comb, to combine, or to comprehend the mounds of data piled in reports. They struggle and fight with the data, not realizing that the best way to tackle big data is to make the data work for them.
Are you feeling lost in a sea of data? How are you making the data work for you?