Big data investments may not be as expensive as many perceive

August 21, 2013

Big data investments may not be as expensive as many perceive

Many nonprofit decision-makers have been discouraged from launching big data deployments for a host a reasons, most notably questions about the return on investment and cost concerns. In fact, a new study sponsored by global integration software provider Talend revealed 24 percent of organizations have no interest in big data, while just 19 percent of respondents were in the planning and appraisal stage of implementing tools to mine data from massive information streams.

The amount of money that it costs to create a big data plan is often the main factor that scares nonprofits away from implementing such a strategy. However, it may not be as expensive as some decision-maker may think.

"Contrary to popular belief, big data projects do not have to come with a massive price tag," said Yves de Montcheuil, vice president of marketing of Talend.

He added there are cost-efficient tools that allow for big data integration and analysis applications that can reduce hardware spending.

The benefits that stem from using big data can prove to be worth the investment. An article for Time magazine chronicles how Uzoamaka Nwankpa, found of The Uzo Method Project, has used the information in large data streams to care for her clients she gained from Nurse-Family Partnerships, a nonprofit that arranges ongoing home visits from registered nurses to low-income, first-time mothers.

Nwankpa told the magazine tracking things like the growth rate of the baby and whether the mother has faced domestic abuse has allowed the organzation to gain a knowledge base about the families in her network.

"We're able to provide reports about what's happening with the mother, what's happening with the child, what activity the nurse is undertaking and ultimately use that data to help the nurse do an even better job," Sandy Dunlap, the chief operating officer at Nurse-Family Partnerships, told the magazine.

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