Today’s Data Buzz Deciphered

Today’s Data Buzz Deciphered

“We need our Database Administrator to do a better job of data curation, management and integration so that we can address the issue of ‘big data’, run some detailed analytics and achieve better data visualization which can assist us in adaptively managing our marketing and allow us to run some predictive analytics for planning next year’s campaign.”

Poor Database Administrator…

data-buzz-cloudI hear the advertisements on the radio daily for business analytics firms that can help with ‘big data’, automation, integration, curation and visualization. All of those ‘tions’ will make your head spin – and if you are the one looking for a way to better understand  your data they may make you a bit shaky. I sometimes wonder if the ads are designed just to make you feel like you don’t understand your data or how to look at it in order to justify your need for their services.

This may get a bit scary but with the help of Wikipedia (and some summarization) I have endeavored to translate today’s data buzz words for you. Here we go.

Database administration is the function of managing and maintaining database management systems (DBMS) software. Most companies have a database administrator (or several) to handle this.

Data curation is a term used to indicate management activities required to maintain data long-term such that it is available for reuse and preservation.

Data integration involves combining data residing in different sources (think of these sources as your communication channels) and providing users with a unified view of this combined data.

Big data is an all-encompassing term for any collection of data sets so large and complex that it becomes difficult to process using on-hand data management tools or traditional data processing applications. A typical solution is to bring larger data sets together in one place as a single large set of related data. ‘Big data’ is a term completely overused for anything that seems moderately difficult.

Analysis of data is a process of inspecting, cleaning, transforming, and modeling data with the goal of discovering useful information, suggesting conclusions, and supporting decision-making.

Data visualization is a modern branch of descriptive statistics. It involves the creation and study of the visual representation of data. Aka, pie charts, graphs and other visual representations of your data that make it easier to understand and for trends or anomalies to be identified.

Adaptive management is a process of decision making in the face of uncertainty, with an aim to reduce uncertainty over time via monitoring. Because adaptive management is based on a learning process, it improves long-term management outcomes but also informs an adaptive approach to current methods based on available information.

Predictive analytics encompasses a variety of statistical techniques from modeling, machine learning, and data mining that analyze current and historical facts to making predictions about future, or otherwise unknown, events. In business, predictive models exploit patterns found in historical and transactional data to identify risks and opportunities.

That all makes perfect sense, right? Don’t worry, we are not trying to confuse you into thinking you don’t understand your data. Having worked with many businesses on the data side, one thing we have learned is that you, indeed, know your data better than anyone. You just may be able to do more with it than you currently are. And more often, the problem is simply that no one has staff or time to walk through the concepts above to get them to a point where data from their many channels can inform good business decisions – especially in the midst of a campaign when you need to quickly analyze performance and adapt.

If you made it this far, you likely agree that these are things you need and want. But perhaps you can’t put your finger on how to get it. There are plenty of tools out there for business intelligence. A handful for data automation, which is the process of automatically making your ‘big data’ set without you having to manually export, reformat and upload data – and which I will explain more in a later piece. And fewer still who take the essential final step for attribution of revenue which gives you deeper insights than your current tools can. Finding the right tool to help you better understand your data – easily – can be the most difficult part.

Our digital army is designed to automate delivery of your data to our business intelligence tools and attribute revenue to the appropriate communications, giving you deeper insights into your overall performance.

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