There is rarely a consensus on what ‘Big Data’ really means, either within business or academia, but if there is one point that most (if not all) companies can agree on, it’s that their voyage into big data caused unexpected problems.

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The benefits of a lot of live, real time data have been well discussed and making the move to using it is almost always worth it for business growth. But the path between deciding to take the jump to having it working seamlessly for you is long, technical and has several invisible pot holes that can easily be forgotten about. Until you have to dig yourself out.

Doing appropriate planning, in the right order can be extremely difficult without external help. It can be tempting to dive in headlong, particularly if your company has expertise and confidence in one part of the big data journey already. But being underprepared at any stage can have surprisingly potent consequences.

Our route through the big data maze has been mapped to cover off the key zones, any one of which has the potential to be a minefield, but each company’s experience will be quite individual. We at the University of Hertfordshire want to better understand your own encounters with these.

Legal: Do your policies cover the intricate legislations on big data?

Methodology: Are you collection the right data and using the right tools?

Hardware and software: Can you (or should you!) store it?

Data collection: Are you using live data or Smart tech? Or merging databases from other companies?

Data security: Can you effectively protect sensitive and personal data?

Analysis: Are you doing anything with the data you’ve got (and coming to the right conclusions)?

Data visualisation: How can you get others to really engage with all this new information?

If you have 5-10 minutes to help us, we’d like to know your thoughts on these:

Our data experts at the University of Hertfordshire are using this information to help streamline and improve the big data research, consultancy and training that we offer to business. If you would like to know more about the support we could offer in data (including any of the areas above, contact us at or call us on +44 (0)1707 286406.