If you’ve worked with Big Data and analytics for long, you’re probably aware of the challenges of mixing structured and unstructured data. However, there are powerful insights that can be gathered when mixing these two types of data—sometimes called Wide Data.

What Is Wide Data?

Imagine you have enterprise-structured data on SQL servers that contain your organization’s internal information about each of your clients. However, you also have emails, social media (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, etc.), Word docs, audio files, and more that also pertain to your clients. This unstructured data does not have a pre-defined model or may not be organized at all.

In this scenario, you’ve noticed a problem with your sales based on your structured data, but you need a better understanding of what led to the problem. By analyzing your unstructured data in the form of social media posts, emails from clients, and more, you are able to find trends that would not be available using structured data alone.

Turning structured and unstructured data (or Wide Data) into Fast Data allows you to analyze the relationships that lie within both types of data in real time. Wide Data can find the genesis of a problem, as in the example above. Fast Data allows you to analyze and make decisions quicker.

The Impact of the Internet of Things

By 2020, the amount of Internet-connected things will reach 50 billion, with $19 trillion in profits and cost savings coming from IoT over the next decade, according to Cisco Systems.

The Internet of Things will bring a plethora of products and data, and pose new challenges with structured and unstructured data. Turning Wide Data into Fast Data, we will be able to pull the massive amounts of data from a variety of sources and then use that data to identify and potentially predict behavior in real time.

Conclusion

Focusing solely on structured data can lead organizations to miss opportunities. An incredible amount of information exists all over the Internet within unstructured sources that can be used to meet real-time data demands. Wide Data holds the key. And when turned into Fast Data, it can open many doors. Isn’t it time your organization benefited from Wide Data?

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