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Christina Torode If I had to sum up the approach to developing an enterprise big data strategy in one word, it would be customize. Opportunity abounds to turn data into cash, as long as a data-driven strategy fits your organization’s particular business needs, desired business outcomes, employee skill sets and infrastructure capacity.

In this issue of Modern Infrastructure, CIO Edition, SearchCIO.com Senior News Writer Nicole Laskowski points out that Hadoop, with its processing prowess, appears to be a big data no-brainer, but follows this sentiment up with three examples of when Hadoop does—or doesn’t—make sense as the infrastructure of choice for a CIO.

Another question to ask is whether your organization has the right people in-house (or the money for hired guns ) and business intelligence tools to process data, 85% of which is unstructured, as digital strategy expert Harvey Koeppel explains.

“Understanding the nature and meaning of unstructured information presents significant challenges that far exceed the capabilities of typical business intelligence tools that were, for the most part, designed and built for handling the 15% that is structured,” writes Koeppel, adding that unstructured data will continue to grow due to the use of mobile and sensor-based devices and social media.

Mark Tonsetic, practice manager at consultancy CEB, has another sobering statistic for would-be data gatherers: More than 80% of employees in large enterprises rely on data for making critical business decisions, but fewer than 40% have the skills to make sense of this data.

One thing that is also clear from the expert advice in this ezine? We are on the cusp of a profound change in the way we work, do business and interact in general, and it’s due in large part to the ability to not just gather large amounts of data, but also use it in ways that create real-time value.

Please email Christina at ctorode@techtarget.com.

This was first published in April 2013

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