The evolution of big data has presented a myriad of challenges and opportunities. It has become increasingly difficult to process and analyse the mountains of structured and unstructured data using traditional technology and logic. The Mckinsey Institute (2011) has estimated a 40% annual growth in global data and with contributors such as social media, government, healthcare, banking and retail, we do not foresee this trend slowing down anytime soon.

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Business Intelligence is still a relatively new concept in the Caribbean and most businesses do not see value in their data or they do not have the resources to take advantage. There are instances where companies do not even capture data generated by their customers and products. If it is not yet evident, we are in the Data age and how a company leverages data will be their competitive advantage.

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It is slightly unnerving when organizations boast about Business Intelligence and when asked about underlying tools, you hear the words Excel and PowerPoint only and no underlying database or data environment, whether structured or unstructured.

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I was asked a few months ago to give a presentation on the benefits of having Business Objects in my organisation. Needless to say, the presentation fell through but I did document 7 reasons why Business Objects is an excellent tool to have in your organization.

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The first bit of knowledge that I impart to my students doing an Introductory Database Management course is the difference between data and information. After witnessing first hand high ranking BI/IT employees grappling to understand the difference between these fundamental concepts, it seemed to be the best place to start the class and hence the first post for this blog.

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