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Big Data and Creativity

Big DataWe’ve all heard about how important it is to be able to collect and process vast amounts of data in real time, and about the impact big data has had on businesses in the past few years. And it’s true that in many industries, it’s impossible to remain competitive without being able to handle those large data sets. Attempting to operate without the amounts of information the competition has at its disposal is next to impossible.

Big data is important – perhaps even indispensable – for business, but it’s a death knell for creativity if used in the wrong way.

Not All Industries Are the Same

All businesses need to remain profitable, but not necessarily to the same degree. Certain industries are fundamentally different. Health care, education, and the entertainment industry all affect society at a fundamental level, and if any of them are run purely from a profit maximizing standpoint, society suffers.

A House of Cards

The original Netflix series House of Cards has become an enormous hit since its debut 4 years ago, surprising everyone except its creators. They knew it would be wildly popular, as they had used sophisticated data tools to analyze Netflix viewers’ viewing data for the previous several years to guide the creative process.

While this has resulted in a very successful series this time, there is a fundamental flaw in using big data in this way, in an industry built on a foundation of creativity.

The process the House of Cards producers followed can really only result in giving people more of what they already like. There are only so many permutations of the same thing possible to make, and eventually the people will become bored.

Pattern Recognition

The real power of big data tools is in being able to sift through huge amounts of information and identify patterns in that information of which people would otherwise be totally unaware. This enables the ability to take action and make decisions that leverage the beneficial patterns and eliminate or minimize the damage of the negative patterns. When big data is harnessed in a creative pursuit, it does what it is meant to do: identify patterns. The only thing this generally allows the people involved to do, however, is recreate those patterns.

Art Is Different

Art is necessary for the healthy functioning of a society. Without creativity, new expressions a culture wither and die. Big data can be a very useful tool on the business side of the creative industries – marketing, distribution, that sort of thing – but for the sake of creativity itself, it has no place in the creative space.

Four Ways That Colocation Supports High-Density Data Centers

The data burden of today’s networked world is increasingly heavy as more backend power is required to support critical business functions. While data center centralization and consolidation efforts through means such as virtualization are helpful in meeting these increased demands, organizations with high-density data center setups are challenged to constantly provide the infrastructure to support ever-evolving data needs.

Data center colocation can help IT departments satisfy the data demand by powering high-density setups in an efficient and streamlined manner.

Here are four reasons why colocation is the right solution for some high-density setups:

Increased capacity

Colocation vendors design their facilities and architecture to accommodate very large workloads, and this requires enormous power. Colocation providers are uniquely positioned to regularly and consistently provide the amount of power needed to support these workloads. This is partly because colocation vendors often have a network of interconnected data centers to help ensure that each customer gets the power and space needed without sacrificing quality or service.

Streamlined delivery

Even for those organizations that may have access to large amounts of energy to power their high-density setups, it is unlikely that they have the ability to streamline the delivery of that energy in the appropriate manner.

Colocation providers use the most advanced power delivery solutions to provide optimal energy to each rack, and this eliminates the small energy drain that can occur with other power delivery systems. The sophisticated power technology available through colocation partners provides unprecedented levels of performance for high-density setups.

Better connections

Network latency is a primary concern for IT departments as more data moves through less network space.

Colocation providers build their infrastructure to support high-frequency exchanges with minimal latency. The quality and automation of connections resulting from this setup is only available through a colocation provider.

Diverse power sources

One of the biggest limitations in hosting a high-density system within the internal infrastructure of an organization is the inability to support the required power redundancy. For example, a single backup generator may not be sufficient to support the high-density setup if the primary energy source fails.

Colocation partners solve this problem by diversifying their power streams and providing multiple levels of redundancy across data centers. Colocation partners help ensure consistent access to power by providing not just backup generators but also backup power sources from various utility vendors, local power resources, and on-site streams of power.

Looking ahead

As IT organizations continue to move toward high-density computing setups, data center colocation is becoming an increasingly crucial component in supporting the modern IT infrastructure. Only colocation partners are uniquely equipped to provide the power capacity, quality, delivery, and diversity necessary for a high-density data center setup.

Excellent Data Analysis: The Key to an Excellent Business Strategy

The overall success of a business depends on many factors, including leadership, vision, economics, competition, and analytics. But it is data that is the driving force behind a business’s success or failure.

According to Ovum Research, a business receiving poor quality data could lose revenue of at least 30 percent. Business leaders across the board are now recognizing the significance and importance of using high-quality data to ensure a successful business–and making changes to do so.

Smart Data Management

For many businesses, the answer is to invest in high-tech data processing applications and advanced predictive analytics to rein in the data and make it work for them. However, some businesses are finding that even the latest data processing equipment doesn’t help when the core data is a mess.

Expert business analyzers have found that there is a better way for companies to manage data; it’s called master data management (MDM). Although this isn’t a new concept, it has come to the forefront for many business leaders because of data’s vital nature.

Leaders know the importance of collecting data on customers, suppliers, products, location, assets, and employees. Although the overall success of a business depends on this critical data, it can be hard for managers to focus on it because of other priorities, business mergers, or siloed systems.

Smart Data Analysis

Eventually, though, it becomes glaringly obvious that there are gaps between what they do know about these critical data categories and what they should know. Such a realization compels leaders to start looking at these critical concepts:

  • Sales are optimized by knowing the customer, the product they purchased, the location of purchase, and the supplier.
  • Recalls can only be effectively and efficiently handled when the business knows where the defective part came from, where it went, and where the products are located.
  • Marketing new drugs requires knowing the researcher, the research site, compounds used, and test patient data.
  • Product models, date of manufacture, and location of manufacture play an important role in meeting regulatory reporting guidelines.

Many times, this data is easy to manage until the business begins to grow. The larger the business gets, the harder it can be to track the data. As the data becomes fragmented across applications, it’s harder to see the “big picture.”

Smart Adaptation

Moreover, the data keeps changing when the following occur:

  • Customer demographics change.
  • Suppliers move or change.
  • New products launch and old products discontinue.
  • Assets are gained or retired.

All of these changes result in inconsistent, scattered data that’s hard to find and possibly not accurate. This costs businesses time and money and can result in frustrated, overworked employees.

Adapting, forward-thinking leaders can take a different approach:

  • They can locate the data glitches.
  • They can focus on the process of receiving and storing data.
  • They can find a product that is designed to manage business data from one location (like MDM).

MDM can help a variety of industries achieve a streamlined method of data management by helping marketing teams optimize the cross-sell and up-sell process, helping the procurement team optimize sourcing, and helping the compliance team manage data needed to create regulatory reports efficiently. MDM brings all of a business’s data under one umbrella, resulting in the most up-to-date, accurate, critical business information possible to help businesses thrive and grow.

Despite the management style of choice, it’s clear that smart approaches to data analytics is what puts one business ahead of another.