Big data and dark data: Balancing the costs and benefits

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Big data is starting to become a cliché among business executives, given that almost everyone is now leveraging big data in decision making. “Big data” was defined in 2012 by Gartner (a global research and advisory firm) as “high-volume, high-velocity and/or high-variety information assets that demand cost-effective, innovative forms of information processing that enable enhanced insight, decision making, and process automation.”

The term is often used to refer to predictive analytics or other methods of extracting value from data and information. What is often left out is its twin subset — dark data. Gartner coined the term and defines “dark data” as “the information assets organizations collect, process and store during regular business activities, but generally fail to use for other purposes.”

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