The Concept of “Wide Data” and How it Directly Applies to the Typical Investment Manager

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“True insight lies at the intersection of different data sets.”

Great article last week on networkworld discussing the concept of “Wide Data” as opposed to Big Data.

What’s the difference?   Unlike “Big” Data, “Wide” Data applies to the typical organization that is more often concerned with tying together data from disparate sources, often a wide range of sources and thus the name, for meaningful analysis.   Unlike the “big” in big data, wide data can be large or small.   The important thing is that the data is locked up in different silos making it largely unusable or requiring a substantial amount of effort to manually analyze each data set and then tie it together.   If you are an investment management firm, the concept of wide data will make even more sense to the average lay person than big data.   Investment management firms spend an inordinate amount of time pulling data from different sources, then spot checking the data for accuracy by comparing it with different systems, and finally trying to put it together in meaningful form, typically first into Excel, then into PowerPoint, etc.   Fortunately, there is a better solution and the technology behind trying to effectively work with the more traditional big data concept is, in fact, the answer to the wide data needs of the typical investment manager, whether they are large or small.