Coming Soon: Information Overload, Tamed and Ready to Serve You?

In fact, we are already making headway in this field at A.T. Kearney by pioneering new methods of big data analysis, predictive analytics, and data visualization—so that we can all shovel out from the data blizzard. The details in each of these are, as you might imagine, highly complex (explaining, for example, a technique known as massively parallel processing could potentially require a separate book), and we’re fortunate to have some extremely bright minds on the case. But the essential element in what we’re doing is to use technology to solve a problem seemingly created by technology. The terabyte (or multi-terabyte) data sets that technology has enabled companies to capture only add confusion, paralysis, and cost without the right tools to understand them. Rather than adding layers to that complexity through endless (but not more usable) analysis or, worse yet, ignoring large parts of the available data in an attempt at faux simplicity, our focus has been to harness the data and make it understandable, intuitive, and most importantly, actionable.

As we neared the turn of the twentieth century, it seemed as though every corporate IT department on earth was obsessed with avoiding disaster—the now mostly forgotten Y2K scare. Once it was apparent that the world as we knew it would not come to an end on January 1, 2000, they refocused on implementing corporate-wide systems to improve data availability and accuracy. ...

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