Data Harvesting Initiatives


The advent of social networking and the growth of eCommerce have created massive amounts of data, leading to one of the most popular industry buzzwords in recent years – Big Data. Companies, hoping to wean actionable business information out of all this data, continue to invest in applications that harvest and analyze the output of a wide array of IT systems. Those who are successful enjoy a competitive advantage over those who aren’t.

With a great return on its big data investment in mind, here are a few ideas on how to get the most out of your organization’s data harvesting processes.

Determine What Questions the Data Needs to Answer

Creating business cases to define the data extraction processes is a key part of any organization’s data-harvesting policy. This helps your staff focus on what systems generate the relevant information to transform your business. Industry pundit, Mary Shacklett, commented on the importance of doing this upfront analysis work before the actual harvesting.

“For an organization to optimize its data use, IT leaders have to apply business insights into the best way to harvest data and get the most out of it during data preparation. Companies shouldn’t be content to just set up report queries of end-product data and do nothing more,” said Shacklett.    

Develop Plans for Handling Leftover Data

Even after the harvesting process is complete, most enterprises are left with unused data – in some cases 80 percent remains unharvested. Having a strategy for the management of this leftover information is a must. Simply storing it costs more resources over time.

Spend the time to see if there is anything valuable in these leftovers. The veritable needle in the haystack may be out there!

Improve Data Access for the Entire Business

When one business division successfully analyzes a chunk of data, don’t assume other parts of your organization won’t benefit from accessing that same data. Ensure everyone in your company enjoys full access to any output from the harvesting process. Creating metadata meaningful to the entire business helps your entire company understand what is being harvested and whether or not any of the information offers insights for their specific needs.

“The end goal is to leverage the value of data throughout the company as much as possible by making the data universally accessible,” summed up Shacklett.

When your organization needs advice on building a top-notch technology team, talk to the experts at MindFinders. As one of the top IT staffing agencies in the DC area, we offer great candidates able to raise the talent level in your office. Connect with us soon!


Written by Tim Booker, President and CEO of MindFinders, with over 20 years of industry experience.


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