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Like the two sides of a coin, big data comes with its pros and cons too. Are you prepared to fight the five biggest risks of big data?

Over the years, big data has been the hottest topic in the tech world. The evolution of big data has taken the world by storm; and with each passing day, it just gets even bigger. Today big data touches every business, big or small, at some level. However, there are still enterprises that choose to ignore big data while they can clearly see the flood coming at them.

More data has been created in the past two years, than in the entire history of human existence. And, by 2020, about 1.7 megabytes of information will be created every second for every human being alive. If that doesn’t concern you as an entrepreneur, what else would? Fighting the big data flood is no joke, because it brings with it some serious risks to conquer.

Here are the five biggest risks that big data presents for digital enterprises.

Unorganized data
Big data is highly versatile. It comes from number of sources and in number of forms. There’s structured data, there’s unstructured data. There’s data coming from online and offline sources. And all this data keeps piling up each day, each minute. It’s overwhelming for enterprises to tackle such unorganized and siloed data sets effectively. A well planned governance strategy can bring you out of your dark data and help you make sense of it.

Data storage and retention
This is one of the most obvious risks associated with big data. When data gets accumulated at such a rapid pace and in such huge volumes, the first concern is its storage. Traditional data storage methods and technology are just not enough to store big data and retain it well. Enterprises today need a shift to cloud based data storage solutions to store, archive and access big data effectively.

Cost management
The process of storing, archiving, analyzing, reporting and managing big data involves costs. Many small and medium enterprises think that big data is only for big businesses, and they cannot afford it. However, with careful budgeting and planning of resources, big data costs can be mitigated well. Once the initial set up, migration and overhauling costs are taken care of, big data acts as an incredible revenue generator for digital enterprises.

Incompetent analytics
Without proper analytics, big data is just a pile of trash lying unnecessarily in your organization. Analytics is what makes data meaningful, giving management valuable insights to make business decisions and plan strategies for growth. With data growing at such an alarming rate, there’s obviously a lack of skilled professionals and technology to analyze big data efficiently. It exposes enterprises to the risk of misinterpretation of data, and wrong decision making. Hiring the right talent and applying the right tools is crucial to make relevant decisions from a big data project.

Data privacy
With big data, comes the biggest risk of data privacy. Enterprises worldwide make use of sensitive data, personal customer information and strategic documents. When there’s so much confidential data lying around, the last thing you want is a data breach at your enterprise. A security incident can not only affect critical data and bring down your reputation; it also leads to legal actions and heavy penalties. Taking measures for data privacy is not just a good initiative anymore, it’s a compliance necessity.

Big data is an extremely overwhelming concept for most enterprises. It’s huge; it’s complex and carries a set of challenges and risks. However, a solid plan, a clear roadmap and the right technology will help you fight the risks of big data successfully.