Data is the new oil, says Dr. Bellini. It’s not just collection of observations, raw facts or numbers but it is the root of what we call knowledge. Without data, it’s trying to make bricks without clay. There will be no world without data. All we will have is assumption and no conclusion. The main goal is to turn data into information, and information into insight. Then came big data into picture and has been ruling the industry for over past few decades. This marked emersion of numerous data driven companies who understood the importance of data in an early stage and are even established as market leaders today. But then, we realized lately that there was nothing much that these companies could do to deliver immediate value.

So, it’s high time that we accept the drawbacks and limitations of big data and embrace the importance of smart data around us. Big data was famous for its five Vs; volume, Velocity, Variety, Veracity and Value. Though it quite satisfied the concept of 1st four Vs but the final V stayed underrated as it couldn’t deliver the promised value. This led to a question that if the data collected doesn’t add any value to our organization after using a hefty sum of money and top analytic tools, would we still bother collecting data?

We might be proud of collecting millions of terabytes of data and junking up the data center’s racks but what if it doesn’t bring something new to the table that can actually help our business grow..! So, having a bigger chunk of data doesn’t make us a market leader but having lesser of smarter data does.

Let’s know what actually is meant by Smart data?

We can call reliable, verified and updated set of data as Smart Data. It’s much more than a piece of information or record of truth. Whenever we are starting with analysis of a chunk of data, few pointers that we must ask ourselves:

  1. What kind of data am I using? Is it relevant enough to solve the problems persistent in my organization?
  2. Does my system possess a set of updated data? How often is my data updated? How often is the change notice required?
  3. Which business decisions will this data enable to make my models better and faster?
  4. Can I explain about my data source and its impact on forecasts and operations?

Many organizations failed to answer these questions and hence faced issues while forming strategies for their organizations. Many companies have realized the actual importance of relevant and genuine data which can be used in dynamic decision making, thus making their models more accurate. There are numerous organizations trying their best to ramp up their ROI maximization by hiring tech giants to optimize their algorithms and hyper tune their models. They keep feeding big data to their processes with the aim of deriving something useful out of it in the end. Implementing this takes years and requires consistent funding too but what they overlook is data keeps changing every single moment. Without valuable and updated information in the system, Big Data is nothing but garbage data or just digital pieces with some information but not adding any value to our organization. It can rather be a burden to our business as decisions made from obsolete data can harm us in current scenarios.

Let’s have a look at some facts and figures:

  • Around 1.145 trillion MB of data is produced everyday
  • Data volume grew by 60 times in last 5 years showing an exponential trend
  • Rate of data growth can be seen as 5000% increase in last 10 years
  • 80% of organization’s data is ROT : Redundant, Obsolete/Out-dated, Trivial
  • Average financial impact of poor data quality on an organization : $ 9.7 million per day
  • Data Overload costs up to $3.3 trillion to organizations across the world.
  • Financial institutions end up spending about USD 270 billion annually on compliance.
Image by Tumisu from Pixabay 

So, now we know that redundant, outdated and duplicate data is the principal cause of evil. Hence, smart data has come to our rescue in this era of chaotic and messy data. Smart data focuses more on valuable data that can be turned into actionable data which can be used to solve business challenges. Besides making data driven decisions, smart data also helps in taking up creative initiatives. So we can say that Smart data is not about volume and technology being used rather it revolves around Veracity and Value. It’s all about the usefulness with multiple layers of intelligence which is built in a way that can process, analyze, store, interpret and improve data to be used effectively. From the above facts and figures, we are sure that data changes real fast and with this fast changing business dynamics, it is important to possess real time data to derive structured and optimized output. Hence, smart data uses Internet of things or artificial intelligence to gather relevant information and handle processes in a smarter way.

So we can say that smart data coupled with few new and edge computing tactics and advanced processes and technology is changing the way organizations used to function earlier. With this, organizations can find key insights for their businesses and can make decisions derived from a better and relevant source of data. 

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