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What’s the Big Deal with Big Data?

big_dataSocial media inform us that #bigdata, #data, and #information are nearly always trending. In fact, corporate and government environments are flooded with all sorts of data — customer data, transaction data, process data, project data, financial data, manufacturing data, trade data, marketing data, sales data.

You can have data without information, but you cannot have information without data.

~ Daniel Keys Moran

Companies, government agencies, and you (yes, you) purchase networking infrastructure, software, servers, and computers to deal with all of the data because the technology pundits tout the advantage of this data integration solution or that data analytics tool to harness process efficiencies, to gain market share, or to find the connections that match your customers to your products. All of which must ride on the best in class information technology.

Guess what? What you’ve bought and implemented is data technology. Software and hardware solutions do process data, but that processing effort transforms chunks of data into other data. You have to make sense of the data to transform and process it into information.

Information and knowledge derive from the fundamental understanding that data transforms and processes in a way that best answers the questions that matter to you and your business or agency. If you are not asking the right questions or collecting the right data to answer those questions, then you are merely using data to create more data, which is not a transformation of added value.

The combination of some data and an aching desire for an answer does not ensure that a reasonable answer can be extracted from a given body of data.

~ John Tukey

The real information technology and “software” often overlooked is the human brain. The brain is an amazing piece of technology in which we store vast repositories of experiences, inferences, nuanced and non-obvious references, and linked frameworks, transforming processed data into information and knowledge through context and understanding. After all, data technology and systems may be able to plot your data and even draw a regression line through the scatterplot, but the software cannot tell you what that line means or even if it is meaningful information for you and your organization.

For more information on how understanding the realm of big data can help your organization, please visit www.caskllc.com.  Our consultants are here and ready to help you leverage your data technology for the benefit of your information technology.

FITARA Report Card Results Discussed on Federal Tech Talk Featuring Cask Director, Mark Larsen.

Radio Show Recap: Improving transparency through FITARA

Mark Larsen and David Cheseborough
Mark Larsen and David Cheseborough

Today’s guest are Mark Larsen, director at Cask, LLC, and David Cheseborough, president, AFEI.  Both have extensive experience with federal information technology projects and are in the studio to talk about FITARA, an initiative to improve transparency and efficiency of federal IT projects.

In this program we take a look at the meaning behind the FITARA scores released last week by the House Oversight Committee Review.  Partial FITARA grades have been given and now is the time for analysis.  In academia, grades are used for “FITARA Report Card Results Discussed on Federal Tech Talk Featuring Cask Director, Mark Larsen.”

Cask in the Community

logoThis past weekend, a small group of Coopers joined Habitat for Humanity in the building of a four-bedroom home in Stafford, VA. During the six-and-a-half-hour day, coopers completed various tasks including the demolition of a concrete well, the hauling of concrete from the well to the disposal bin, the weather proofing of both the outside and inside of the home, and the digging of post holes. The day was an eye opening experience filled with lots of laughter, hard work, and dedication to work site. Cooper Erin Ewing says, “Cask in the Community”

White Paper: Stop Defending Your Budget and Start Selling Your Services

Does the thought of another budget planning meeting give you fits of anxiety? That doesn’t need to be the case. Download our latest white paper to better understand how to use Technology Business Management best practices to align your service capabilities with business needs. This white paper will teach you how to:sdss cover

  • Articulate business value by understanding what you sell, not what you do
  • Align your Service Catalog with a Service Portfolio to show value
  • Use the Service Portfolio to plan and forecast your service investments
  • Tune your business planning process to enable Service Portfolio Management and Investment Based Budgeting

“White Paper: Stop Defending Your Budget and Start Selling Your Services”

Business Simulations: A Positive Impact on Both the Organization and the Customer

As I have recently learned, whether you are looking to reinforce training, transform your organization, identify areas for improvement, or simply conduct a team building event, Business Simulations deliver immediate results. A group of employees and myself here at Cask recently had the opportunity to participate in a business simulation demonstration provided by Jan Shilt of GamingWorks, a Netherlands based company. The demonstration included an initial presentation regarding what a business simulation is, why it is valuable, and how that value is delivered.  We also engaged in two simulations during the demonstration: one focused on Cyber Resilience and the other on Program Management.

“Business Simulations: A Positive Impact on Both the Organization and the Customer”