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POWER > Business Strategy > BI and Analytics

Is Big Data a Good Fit for Your Midsized B2B Company?

No discussion of big data’s potential is complete without a reference to Facebook. With more than 1 billion members, Facebook has partnerships to enable big data management and analytics based on the integration of their own data with data from customer loyalty programs, household demographic databases, and online and offline purchasing habit databases. Analytics on this scale has tremendous potential that strategic companies can put to use. It’s important, however, to understand that the same individuals who willingly share personal information on Facebook might recoil if they sense the vendors and business partners they interact with during working hours are using that personal information.

A Game Changer

Before launching a big data initiative in your company, get consensus about what data might have the most value and how to obtain it. Don’t waste your resources if management isn’t prepared to act on your findings. Pick a specific area where your company’s key players are receptive to new insights and ready to try new business practices. Think carefully about your data storage needs, security and compliance requirements. If you’re storing sensitive data regulated by HIPAA, PCI, Sarbanes-Oxley and other legal statutes, you need to act accordingly.

Keep focused on your goals and think creatively about what you’d like to know. Obtain the right data, manage it properly, and your potential ROI could be a game changer.

Bill Langston is director of marketing for New Generation Software Inc., and a developer of iSeries BI software. He can be reached at



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