Firms ‘must adapt their thinking’ to new data types

While more companies are set to get involved with big data analytics in the coming years, many of these may still rely on traditional ways of thinking when it comes to how they treat data and what they expect to get out of it.

But in order to make the most of the potential of this technology, different approaches are likely to be required. This is according to the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA), which has this week released a new report to help IT decision-makers understand the wide range of choices that are available to them when setting out on a big data project, and assist in guiding them through the deployment.

Sreeranga Rajan, chair of the organisation's Big Data Working Group, explained: "All 'data' is not equivalent, yet we often find users treating all data components similarly, as they are uncertain as to how to address issues such as latency, or structured versus unstructured data."

Developing a better understanding of which information will be of most use to a business will be even more vital in the coming years, as volumes continue to explode. The CSA's report noted that already, 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are created every day, while 90 per cent of the digital information in the world has been created in the past two years.

Key issues related to storing, computing, privacy, security and analytics will all have to be rethought as a result of the increased volume, velocity and variety of data sources that firms will have to deal with. This will mean strategies that have worked in the past may not be suitable for the new era.

Therefore, it will be vital for businesses to not only have the technical solutions in place for extracting insight from this information, but also to have the right support structures in place to make sure the data is being utilised to its full potential. This may involve hiring specialist data scientists who understand the intricacies of the technologies or finding a technology partner that can also offer a high level of guidance.