Browse Definitions:
Definition

data-driven disaster

This definition is part of our Essential Guide: From data gathering to competitive strategy: The evolution of big data
Contributor(s): Ivy Wigmore

A data-driven disaster is a serious problem caused by one or more ineffective data analysis processes.

According to the Data Warehousing Institute, data quality problems cost businesses in the United States over $600 billion a year. In addition to the financial burden, problems with data quality and analysis can have a serious impact on security, compliance, project management and human resource management (HRM), among other possibilities.

Error can creep into data analytics at any stage. The data quality may be inadequate in the first place, for example. It could be incomplete, inaccurate, not current, or may not be a reliable indicator of what it is intended to represent. Data analysis and interpretation are prone to a similar number of pitfalls. There can be confounding factors and the mathematical method can be flawed or inappropriate. Correlation can be erroneously considered to suggest causation. Statistical significance may be mistakenly attributed when the data doesn’t support it. Even if the data and analytic processes are valid, data may be deliberately presented in a misleading manner to support an agenda.

In a broader context, flaws in data-driven processes have been responsible for real disasters such as explosion of the space shuttle Challenger in 1986 and the shooting down of an Iranian Airbus by the USS Vincennes in 1988.

As businesses deal with huge increases in the amount of data collected -- sometimes referred to as big data -- there's a corresponding increase in the trend toward data-driven decision management (DDDM). Problems arise when insufficient resources are applied to data processes and too much confidence placed in their validity. To prevent data-driven disasters, it's crucial to continually examine data quality and analytic processes, and to pay attention to common sense and even intuition. When data seems to be indicating something that doesn't make logical sense or just seems wrong, it's time to reexamine the source data and the methods of analysis. 

This was last updated in January 2013

Continue Reading About data-driven disaster

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

Powered by:

SearchCompliance

  • cyborg anthropologist

    A cyborg anthropologist is an individual who studies the interaction between humans and technology, observing how technology can ...

  • RegTech

    RegTech, or regulatory technology, is a term used to describe technology that is used to help streamline the process of ...

  • conduct risk

    Conduct risk is the prospect of financial loss to an organization that is caused by the actions of an organization's ...

SearchSecurity

  • application whitelisting

    Application whitelisting is the practice of identifying applications that have been deemed safe for execution and restricting all...

  • security

    Security, in information technology (IT), is the defense of digital information and IT assets against internal and external, ...

  • insider threat

    An insider threat is a malicious hacker (also called a cracker or a black hat) who is an employee or officer of a business, ...

SearchHealthIT

  • HIPAA Privacy Rule

    The Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information, commonly known as the HIPAA Privacy Rule, establishes ...

  • HIPAA business associate agreement (BAA)

    Under the U.S. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, a HIPAA business associate agreement (BAA) is a ...

  • telemedicine

    Telemedicine is the remote delivery of healthcare services, such as health assessments or consultations, over the ...

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • data recovery

    Data recovery restores data that has been lost, accidentally deleted, corrupted or made inaccessible. Learn how data recovery ...

  • disaster recovery plan (DRP)

    A company's disaster recovery policy is enhanced with a documented DR plan that formulates strategies, and outlines preparation ...

  • fault-tolerant

    Systems with integrated fault tolerance are designed to withstand multiple hardware failures to ensure continuous availability.

SearchStorage

  • data deduplication

    Deduplication retains one unique data instance to reduce storage and bandwidth consumed by remote backups, replication and ...

  • byte

    In most computer systems, a byte is a unit of data that is eight binary digits long. Bytes are often used to represent a ...

  • Secure Digital card (SD card)

    SD cards use flash memory to provide nonvolatile storage. They are more rugged than traditional storage media and are used in ...

SearchSolidStateStorage

  • flash file system

    Flash file systems are designed specifically for memory devices. A well-designed flash device and flash file system ensure ...

  • IOPS (input/output operations per second)

    IOPS measures the maximum number of reads and writes to non-contiguous storage. It is not an actual benchmark since vendor ...

  • eMMC (embedded MultiMediaCard)

    An embedded MultiMediaCard (eMMC) is a small storage device made up of NAND flash memory and a simple storage controller.

SearchCloudStorage

  • RESTful API

    A RESTful application program interface breaks down a transaction to create a series of small modules, each of which addresses an...

  • cloud storage infrastructure

    Cloud storage infrastructure is the hardware and software framework that supports the computing requirements of a private or ...

  • Zadara VPSA and ZIOS

    Zadara Storage provides block, file or object storage with varying levels of compute and capacity through its ZIOS and VPSA ...

Close