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by Graham Cookson
in Big Data , Hadoop
on 10 December 2015

10 tips to harnessing your (internal) big data: part 2

In our previous article we highlighted the first five of our top ten tips to getting the most out of your internal big data. In this post we will look at the last five tips and provide a link to the full infographic, for you to download, take away to look at yourself as a reminder.

When it comes to looking at the data within your company, there are no right or wrong methods. What works for one company, may not work for another. But there are best practices and guidelines that every company should consider when looking to get the most out of their internal big data.

These tips are for any company in any industry that we consider to be of high importance when harnessing and getting the most value out of your internal big data.

Note: By ‘internal big data’, we mean information naturally generated by the day-to-day operation any organisation, such as (but not limited to): sales, purchase orders and transactions.

6 – Housekeeping

Make sure you curate your internal data sources efficiently and build a library of any ‘external’ raw sources.

Even when talking about ‘internal data’, you can still find elements that are external that you use and need – such as third party payment processing, or services integral to the day-to-day operation of your company that are created using web services.

These are all sources of data that are (technically) external, but can, and should, be considered alongside your internal datasets.

7 – Protect your IP

Proprietary data sources can, and often do, hold enormous value.

It should be common knowledge that you need to protect any assets associated with your company. What is easily forgotten is that this protection should extend to cover your data, or specifically data sources.

This, of course, means that you’ll want to safely store and regularly back up the data, but that's not all.

Protecting your proprietary data means you want to make sure that the data stays exclusive to you and (maybe even more so) that any insights contained in the data remain internal.

Something to think about. . .

8 – Analyse your data in one place

It might seem obvious, but it’s better to analyse your data sets in one place.

You will find that you obtain better and more accurate results when you analyse your data in one location.

This can be seen as part of your housekeeping and ties in with using multiple data sources – when you look at multiple data sources and curate the data, make sure you are doing so in a uniform way and all the information can be curated together – to ensure you have a richer data set.


9 – YOU are the key to discovery

Big data technology is fantastic and computer systems allow us to see far more than we used to be able to. But, when it comes down to it, you are the one who can and will understand your data.

The human eye and brain can instantly see and pick up on trends or key pieces of information that a computer program can miss out on.

Big data analytics is a tool that enables us to process and store high volumes of information with ease, but without human involvement little value can be obtained.

So, utilise technology to your advantage – but don’t discount the human element.

10 – Picture the end goal, but don’t be afraid to move it

Possibly one of the most important things you need to consider – the end goal.

What are your objectives? Where do you think your data can help your business?

Starting out, you need to understand what you and your business can/needs to get out of processing your data. When you have a goal, you can focus your efforts to try and achieve your objectives.

But don’t be afraid if your goals aren’t met, or aren’t achieved in the way your anticipated them.

Objectives will change – it is part of the experimentation phase. You could start with a key focus and then realise your data offers something new that you never considered. Embrace that change and, if need be, move your objectives.

10 big data tips


Click the image above to view and download the full infographic

Disclaimer: This article is for informative and guidance purposes only. It does not offer direct advice on managing big data.

For more information and guidance on how to harness your data, please contact Digital Contact's Big Data Consultancy team.

Email:, or call: 0330 313 1000.

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