There are risk factors as well as advantages to using
big data. A more data-savvy public often objects
to the kind of profiling that data analytics is so
good at executing. Regulators, too, are becoming
more aware of the power of data analytics. To use
data, one needs to have the data. In the future,
effective data analytics will require an effective data
strategy to plan for the collection of data, including
purchasing and accessing external data sets.
It has never been so easy to use data to make
mistakes more quickly than ever before. With big data
and faster decision making, understanding the quality
of the data is of primary importance. Taking advantage
of the availability and power of data can cut costs,
raise revenue and help futureproof a business. But that
is also true for the organisation’s competitors.
Approach to Big Data
Data analytics is a powerful tool, but the key to
successful use of data relies on understanding what
is being looked for in advance or applying systematic
techniques that can be relied on to determine answers.
A specific, measurable, actionable, realistic, timely
(SMART) approach to big data is a powerful option
In August 2014, the ISACA® London (UK)
Chapter organised an event in collaboration with
PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) in London. The
topic of the event was big data and concerns
about the changes that this concept may
bring to organisations. During the event, there
were several questions and table discussions
for the audience about the topic. This article
summarizes the material presented during the
event, the answers the audience provided to
survey questions distributed during the session,
and the key thoughts and topics covered during
the table discussions.
There are many different definitions of the term
‘big data’, and concerns about whether it will
necessitate significant changes in business
operations in the short term. However, it is broadly
recognised that, as technology becomes cheaper
and more user friendly, there are more data than
there used to be, and those data get more media
attention than ever before.
One of the key advantages of big data is that it can
provide new insights that may lead to making more
informed decisions. This is not applicable just for
organisations, but also for customers. Consumers
compare experiences across industries and expect
to be able to find reviews and give feedback, have
their views taken into account, and collaborate with
their favourite brands. Consumers are better informed
than ever, which means they make smarter decisions
that lead to better outcomes. The rapid evolution of
personal technology has created consumer thirst for
innovative new services and products.
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Angel Serrano, CISA, CISM, CRISC
Is a board member of the ISACA® London
Chapter. For the last 10 years, he has been
working for PricewaterhouseCoopers, focusing
on data analytics and business intelligence
in the financial sector. His background also
includes IT risk assurance and IT security
feature feature Big Data—Hot Air
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