Both small businesses and big businesses have much to gain from connecting big data sources. In case you don’t know what big data is, here is a simple definition: Big data is the gathering and collecting of large amounts of information with the goal of analyzing it to improve decision making in helping the business grow and achieve revenue goals. The rise of big data has made it easier for key players to access and share actionable information. In the age of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and the Internet of Things (IoT), collecting and understanding big data has never been more important to an enterprise’s success. IIoT focuses on improving the world around us through control, safety, monitoring and other industrial systems that keep our world running. The improvement of IIoT means better security, infrastructure, transportation, medical technology, IT Transformation and everything else you can think of in related industries. On the other end, IoT is focused towards helping improve the everyday life of a consumer. An example of IoT in action is the technology that allows a homeowner to control his/her home heating with his/her smartphone. Another example is technology that allows you to order products and track your order’s shipment by speaking to Siri. How is big data collected? Big data can be gathered in many ways. Some of the methods used to collect big data include customer surveys, analyzing customer browsing histories, what people like on social media, and satellite imagery. Other ways big data is collected are sensors used in public transportation and credit card spending histories. After big data is collected, it is typically stored on hard drives and on the cloud. Big data, as mentioned before, is then used in key decision making to help a business grow and achieve revenue goals. Why you should connect big data sources Organizing big data making big data sources work seamlessly is always in your favor. According to InfoWorld, connecting data sources is a key component in becoming a data-driven organization. When you connect big data sources, you are putting your team in a position to succeed. Every department in your company from marketing to finance to product development will enable each department to make well-informed decisions. Making data more accessible to your employees and executives through connected data sources will help your teams make better and faster decisions. Connected big data sources make it possible for greater transparency and visibility throughout any business organization. One way this is done is by relieving tension points among digitally networked business. With the rise of communication platforms like Slack and Google Docs, access to information now can be instantaneous, creating greater awareness of everything happening in real time. At the same time, however, a company’s ability to operate with that new information can be limited. By connecting big data sources, the entire hierarchy of decision making becomes clearer. It has the capability of transforming the very structure of data access and data sharing processes. In this way, businesses become more adept at handling the flood of data now at their disposal. As just one example, look at how companies manage social media data. Social media has exploded in the past decade, and with it, organizations have much more information to sift through in order to make timely decisions. Connecting the big data source of social media with other customer information sources leads to a more complete picture of who current and potential customers are, what their thoughts on the brand are and how they may react to changes in the future. Businesses can be much more informed in the decisions they’ve made, an effect that spreads to different departments, from human resources to sales to marketing. Connecting all of these big data sources means turning a company into a well-oiled machine capable of meeting the challenges of today’s business landscape. How to connect big data sources The first step to connecting big data sources is creating a game plan to get all members of your team on the same page. Your game plan should outline who is in charge of gathering data and who is responsible for sharing data with the appropriate stakeholders in your company. Along with outlining roles, your plan should also identify your most reliable data sources, how often big data will be analyzed and when new data will be collected. Create a chain of communication your organization can easily follow. After your game plan is created, put your plan into action by training each member of your organization on their individual roles. Training everyone will ensure their overall skillset is up to speed with today’s standards of excellence. It is only in your best interest to invest the training and skills of your employees. Highly skilled employees combined with educated, informed decision-making is a formula for success. As your enterprise’s communication, training, and access to data improves, your big data sources will be connected, allowing your enterprise to make the best decisions possible and help your business grow.