The 5 R’s of Big Data

  • Posted: 12th January 2015
  • Written by:

    Steve Mepham

In the midst of a string of recent external communication around Big Data and the growing disappointment with such initiatives I, jokingly, suggested that I should seek fame and fortune writing on the subject of the Five R’s.

The Five R’s of bit data, as I refer to them, are as follows:

  1. the right data from
  2. the right sources delivered at
  3. the right time interpreted in
  4. the right way and utilized for
  5. the right purposes

There are implications to this in that the start point has to be an understanding of what you are trying to achieve from a business perspective, as this enables you to define the right purposes where everything else flows. For example, if your end goal is to have a high level understanding of information, there probably isn’t a bit need to keep every row of transaction history and a bunch of long-winded Facebook comments.

This is especially true if there may be doubts about the quality of data that you are gathering. There is an adage that says you are far more likely to hear from a disgruntled customer than you are a satisfied one. This holds true tremendously for online forums and social media. This is not to say that there is no value in understanding these negative comments, but you wouldn’t want to build your future product or sales plans around an assumption that it was truly reflective of your business; here again it’s all about the appropriate use of the right data from the right sources.

Even worse would be to make those decisions based upon data that was months or years out of date. Like everything else data has a shelf life and part of good data governance is ensuring that guidelines are created to determine when and how data should be utilized for decision making. Continuing to capture data without proper governance (including housekeeping), simply because current technology allows it, will not provide many long term benefits.

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