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Actionable Intelligence: A Guide to Delivering Business Results with Big Data Fast! by Keith B. Carter, Donald Farmer, Clifford Siegel

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Chapter 3 Creating a Foundation of Data

Key Points and Questions

  • Staying focused on the strategic business question is critical for the data acquisition process.
  • Data accuracy and timeliness are critical to the success of delivering intelligence.
  • How useful is your data? Do you have data quality reporting?
  • “And Moses sent them to spy out the land of Canaan”

Information acquisition has a long history. In biblical times, there was already a dire need for the right information. Take the story of Joshua and Caleb and the 12 spies in Canaan. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, the short story is this:

The Israelites were just exiled from Egypt and were traveling to the Promised Land of Canaan. God promised the Israelites through their leader Moses that the land of Canaan would be a land of milk and honey in abundance, but they had to take it over from the current inhabitants. Moses wanted actionable intelligence, full information about internal and external factors about the land and its people. He said, “Go up through the Negev and on into the hill country. See what the land is like and whether the people who live there are strong or weak, few or many. What kind of land do they live in? Is it good or bad? What kind of towns do they live in? Are they unwalled or fortified? How is the soil? Is it fertile or poor? Are there trees in it or not? Do your best to bring back some of the fruit of the land.” (It was the season for the first ripe grapes.)

Twelve spies went out and traveled ...

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