Cisco Canada Blog

Context: The Missing Link Between Big Data and Good Coffee

September 19, 2013

The Missing Link Between Big Data and Good CoffeeI love being able to roast my own coffee from the comfort of my Toronto home. But finding good places to buy green coffee beans in Canada is not so simple; an Internet search of “Green Coffee Beans Toronto” revealed over 2 million results!  And many of them talk about green coffee bean extract, a completely different type of product!

Of course, like most of us, I don’t want to click on 2 million links to find the information I need. Therefore I then had to do a manual scan to eliminate unrelated web pages and leverage context, like identifying familiar store names that sell the coffee beans and anything not related to coffee bean extract. I suspect most of us do something similar. We also use insights, like reviews from other green coffee bean fans to target our information. Having my morning cup, I couldn’t help but think that on an enterprise level, leveraging the power of big data is a lot like searching for green coffee beans – the need to identify context and relevant insights is essential.

Sifting Through The Data

As the Internet of Everything (IoE) continues to connect more people, objects, data and processes than ever before, an ever-increasing deluge of information—terabytes to petabytes to exabytes—threatens to overload enterprises unless they properly leverage analytics to harvest valuable context and actionable insights.

According to the recent Cisco Connected World Technology Report, while most companies are collecting, storing and/or analyzing data, many are struggling with both the business and IT challenges of Big Data. For example, while 60 percent of survey respondents agreed that Big Data will help improve decision making and increase their competitiveness, only 28 percent report they are currently generating strategic value from their data.

In order to harness the power of big data, enterprises need to develop and implement a strategy to better support the influx of data as well as mine for insights. As we move into the future, data solution specialists could help enterprises realize data’s full potential. The recent Cisco report highlights the growing need for these “data scientists” who can help transform raw data into information leading to discovery and insight, communicate what they’ve learned in creative and visual ways, and create business impact.

Perhaps these data scientists can help me find Toronto’s hidden green coffee bean hotspot without someone suggesting I need to slim down. Something to ponder over a good cup of coffee.

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