Big Data – You’ve captured it, but how do you curate it?

Written by Chloe Harwood

In this day and age, it’s typically very easy for businesses to capture big data. In fact, your business might even be doing it unwittingly. With numerous different devices enabling data capture, the key route to success is less how you obtain in and more what  you do with it. Well, here we introduce data curation, an essential skill for ensuring your data isn’t worthless. According to the Bio creative Glossary, data curation ‘includes all the processes needed for principled and controlled data creation, maintenance, and management, together with the capacity to add value to data.’ So in layman’s terms, it’s pretty important to get onboard with.  If you’re a bit clueless on how to curate and nurture your data growth, check out our top three tips to get started, here:

Maintain and Nurture:

The curation process can only be undertaken if the data is in a manageable condition. Accessing, storing and updating data should now be pretty second nature.However, there is a stress on the importance of keeping data in a mint condition, especially  if you’re bringing in a data curator from outside the business.  Having consistency throughout and the correct management procedures will help put lay out any ground rules from the outset. Using reliable and portable products which are easily adaptable, like the electronic notebook from IDBS will help you to integrate and grow your data in a simple manner.   

Pick Your Battle:

As opposed to data management and data storage, data curation is all about being meticulous, and extremely fussy. Narrowing down the exact results, ROIs, profits, you want from the data and it’s exact purpose to serve in your industry is the first crucial step. Here then, as you might have guessed, relevance is paramount. Instead of being optimistic and exclusive, thinking about how versatile and multi-purpose your data is, you need to pin it down to a concrete role. Think of this as saving your best assets for the most relevant and worthwhile investment. You wouldn’t wear your skiing jacket to your vacation to Australia, so you shouldn’t waste your data in nonsensical circumstances, and waste man time on disappointing results.

By pinpointing your data in one simple destination is a lot better than overstretching it, and your resources.

Take A Step Back:

Data curation requires a lot of of time and energy, and doesn’t take shape overnight. If you’re the owner of the data, or you’ve had another integral part of its revolution then, despite your undoubted expertise in the field, you might have to cut the cord and give it away. You not only need a pair of fresh eyes on your data, but you need to be super critical on what makes the cut and what doesn’t, and if you currently hold a flame to your months, even years of hard work,then you’re less likely to make those ruthless but critical decisions. It’s best practice that you get a qualified curator in to take your data and refine it to it’s best groupings, but if you can’t afford that, then taking other colleagues advice, or simply taking a step back from it for awhile before you ruminate on its fate.

About the author

Chloe Harwood