Analytics

How to Make Big Data work for You

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The "Big Data" Problem

International Data Group (IDG) tells us that 90 percent of the world’s total data has been created in the past two years. Thanks to the sharp rise of social networking and mobile computing, data is now being created as fast as it is being consumed. Making sense of this volume of data is difficult, and now businesses of all sizes are turning to "Big Data" for an answer.

What Is Big Data?

Big Data by definition is the collection of very large and complex sets of data. The term also refers to the technology required to manage, store, and interpret this data. The challenge is that most of today’s data is unstructured and comes in a variety of different types (media feeds, images, streaming video, text files, documents), so Big Data needs to read and interpret everything from documents and electronic forms to emotion and expression.

Big Data’s Big Splash

In December last year, IDG reported that 70 percent of American enterprise organizations had deployed or were planning to deploy Big Data projects. On average, the enterprise organizations had spent $8 million on Big Data initiatives. Clearly, Big Data has struck a chord among large companies because it promises a novel way to understand market forces, adapt to them, and connect meaningfully with customers. But does Big Data deliver on its promise? It depends what you do with it.

Most Customers Don't Know How To Use Big Data effectively

According to Brian Hopkins, an analyst for Forrester Research, statistics like those from the IDG study only tell half the story. He says that while businesses have improved the way they collect data, they haven’t changed the way they use it. Big Data is about insights, but many businesses are not adopting the sophisticated approaches necessary to analyze the information they collect. You don't have to be a multi-million dollar company to effectively analyze data, you need to be able to recognize trends and build strategies to capitalize on trends. That is much easier said than done though.

The problem facing your business

You may want to interpret varieties of data to help you improve your service, create a new market, or launch a new product. The problem is that you may not be able to justify the cost of extra resources to get these Big Data insights. However, there is an assortment of discrete data sources such as CRM or Google Analytics that will be more than helpful in your endeavors.

So, what should you do?

 The concept of Big Data is still quite new, but if analyzed and applied correctly, it can take your business to new levels. However, before any data is even collected, you must have a place to store it. That is where Current Technologies comes in. We can provide you with either physical or cloud storage solutions and backups to make sure that no matter what happens, your vital data will be available to you when you need it.

We Can House Your Big (or small) Data

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How To Improve Your Network Without Major Investment

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Simple ways to Improve your Network Without Major Investment

Who knows how many more devices will be in the Christmas haul for students, staff, and faculty? You can certainly be sure most of those new devices will appear on campus at some point or another. However, you are not likely to find an unexpected budget for a major network overhaul in your stocking. But if there is something left in the budget, you might be able to make a big difference with some small improvements.

1. Take another look at what you are made of

When planning a network by looking at blueprints and floor plans, the basic question of building materials is easily overlooked. Those materials can make a big difference to the reach of a WiFi network, however.

Dense building materials like brick or rock could smother your wireless signal. Materials that hold water can also sabotage signal strength. Not taking into account a bathroom in the way can play havoc with signal strength.

If there are dead spots in your network, double check whether you have taken building materials properly into account. Buying a more advanced access point for a place where the signal is weak will not cost the earth. And it could give you a fast, reliable connection where you did not have one before.

2. Follow the crowd

WiFi users will mob in the places with the best signals. The problem is that those mobs then bring down the very network speeds they were chasing.

You might see real benefits in a small investment in access points in the locations where users would gather if only the WiFi were better. The right access point in the right place could give you double benefit:

  1. You have good WiFi where there were only complaints before

  2. You have even better WiFi where users used to congregate in greater numbers

3. Invest in Analytics

It might be time to invest in an analytics tool. If you already have good analytics tools, it might be time to fund a project to study the data. There are questions that you should know the answers to in order to make the most of your current WiFi:

  • Who is using your network

  • When they are using it

  • Where they are using it

  • What they are using it for

The answer to getting more from your network is not always going to be to buy more bandwidth, for instance. It might be a question of allocating what you already have better—perhaps spreading it further and more efficiently as with the suggestions here. It might also be a question of defining better rules for which data has priority.

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