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In the rapidly growing corporations, organizations, companies, and businesses there is a concomitant increase in the size of data generated on daily basis. An increase in the size of data generated directly increases the amount of data handled and required in different departments of the institution, company, organization or business for marketing, planning and budgeting, decision making, report writing, or for research work. Although large amounts of data in any organization are of great importance in policymaking, it comes with some accompanying problems. Problems of large data storage, insecurity, and inaccessibility are among other problems that accompany large data creation. These problems call for restructuring and improvement of the IT departments for the effective management of the data. The restructuring involves acquiring new technology and equipment, which may be expensive but on the other hand, creating job opportunities for the IT technicians acquired.
Problems of too much data
The setting of a large amount of data or information in an organization sets up a storage problem. Such a large amount of data comes from e-mails, invoices, price lists, ordering levels, checklists, and pick lists among many others. According to Conole, White, and Oliver “…no matter how expensively the data was obtained, it is of limited utility if it cannot be retrieved speedily and effectively” (2007, p.122). Data retrieval greatly depends on storage; therefore, poor storage leads to delayed retrieval or total loss of the data. The problem of data storage escalates when the data obtained or coming in is not in a uniform format, which calls for sorting before storage, which may be cumbersome, time-consuming, and expensive. Moreover, large amounts of data require electronic data storage devices and improved technology for effective storage and easy retrieval.
Data insecurity in case of handling large volumes of data becomes a major problem calling for attention to ensure privacy; otherwise, secret information about the institution, organization, or business can easily leak. With the electronic data storage devices, especially the removable discs, theft of data becomes easy and therefore, security of the data is of paramount importance to protect the data from corruption or destruction by malicious hackers. According to Oliver, “Disk encryption prevents unauthorized access to data storage” (2003, p.26). This technology has largely alleviated the insecurity problems and with the availability of encryption tools in the market, data insecurity has reduced significantly.
It is not reasonable to have just the right amount of data as a long-term goal because organizations need information and the bigger it is the better it gets. For efficiency in both the goods industry and service industry involving large data handling, such as in the insurance and actuarial system, improved technology plays a vital role. Improving the systems to accommodate the ever-increasing volumes of data and acquiring trained technologist remains expensive and the company or organization is obliged to bear. Furthermore, the cost of training existing employers on how to use the acquired new data storage and analysis equipment may still be very high.
Opportunities are created by too much data
Even though large volumes of data have problems, they have opportunities. For instance, with little data, little technology is required but with large data, high data technology may be required. Wickelgren observes, “The problem of large data increase when the data are not of the same format” (2009, p.1651). This problem creates an opportunity for it requires IT, specialists, to sort, centralize, analyze, and make sense out of the large volume of data. Although the technologists get large salaries from the companies, they provide useful information for the companies used in policymaking.
With the vast amount of data aggregated today, other study subjects for undergraduates in computer science and statistics have come up. These are new skills, which include data management, data visualization, and data analysis skills. Acquiring these skills brings about a better understanding of the data, which would not have been possible with small datasets.
Societal growth and expansion of the human population have led to a similar increase in data concerning health, customer spending, and population growth trends. The large database generated here provides a better opportunity for the government to analyze customer spending patterns and insurance companies use the same database to access the likelihood of risk occurrence. Moreover, scientific research heavily depends on large volumes of data and as Shulman observes, “…the conclusions drawn from the research are informative” (1986, p.11). For Scientific information or findings to be true and informative, it needs large supportive evidence involving the handling of too much data for comparison purposes, therefore; too much data provides an opportunity for scientific research to be carried out.
For any growing organization, there is an equal growth of data created which in the end becomes a very important asset to the organization. With data increase, also comes in problems and benefits. Problems of storage and privacy become increasingly a concern because of bulkiness, time consumption and structures required to handle such data. The opportunities created by large data however, overwhelm the problems because in the same data, the secret of grow and existence exists. Therefore, large data for an organization, business, or country remains a valuable asset and requires proper handling to round the problem associated with the same. In a recap, information is slowly becoming the contemporary currency and large data coupled with effective data management are two pillars that will propel modern day businesses to great heights.
Conole, G., White, S., & Oliver, M. (2007). The impact of e-learning on organizationalRoles and structures. New York: Routledge.
Oliver, M. (2003). Looking Backwards, Looking Forwards: an Overview, Some Conclusions and an Agenda. In J. Seale (Ed.). Learning technology in transition: From Individual Enthusiasm to Institutional Implementation. The Netherlands: Swets and Zeitlinger.
Shulman, S. (1986). Those who understand: knowledge growth in teaching. Educational Researcher, 15(2):4-14.
Wickelgren, I. (2003). Spinning Junk into Gold. Science, 300 (5626):1646–1649.