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Booz Allen's Mark Gerencser: Big Data – A Dream or a Potential Nightmare?

Leveraging Big Data has significant business upside, if you can navigate the pitfalls

Harnessing Big Data offers companies the potential to use analytics to upgrade product and service lines, adapt to consumer needs and better understand the impact of their business decisions, Mark Gerencser writes in an upcoming issue of University of Maryland, University College's Achiever magazine.

But, Big Data's "big implications" for business growth are joined by pitfalls and obstacles that can work against a firm's best interests, rather than deliver improved value.

To start, its a complex issue.

"It is not only big volume, it's also big in variety and velocity-meaning different types of data from flat files to streaming video and at a wide range of input speeds and refresh frequencies," writes the managing partner of Booz Allen Hamilton‘s (NYSE: BAH) commercial practice and more-than-30-year company veteran.

Part of navigating the complexity of Big Data and analytics is addressing who owns the data and how to best secure that data in an unclear environment.

These "daunting questions" and the task of forming the consistent legal framework they require are exaggeratedby a "rapidly advancing" cyber threat environment where "traditional security methods are not only expensive; they simply don't work."

Collaboration with competitors can help firms share best practices and signal their status as "trusted partners" or "trusted providers" to customers.

And as Gerencser writes, "the market will ultimately sort out those companies who capitalize on the opportunities and take the necessary data security steps from those that do not."

What other moves should a company invest its resources in to take advantage of the proliferation of big data and analytics? Read Gerencser's full essay.

More Stories By Tim Watson

Tim Watson supervises all media production at Executive Mosaic, a digital media company that provides insight, information and analysis on several industries, including government contracting.

He previously produced byline coverage with the economics team at USA Today and evaluated lending proposals for the Overseas Private Investment Corporation.

Tim was born and raised in Washington, DC and holds a bachelor’s degree in Business-Journalism from Washington and Lee University and a certificate in budgeting and finance from Georgetown University's School of Continuing Professional Education.

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