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Last Thursday I had the pleasure of attending Digital Surrey, a networking event organised to facilitate networking, create and share opportunities and make friends. The event took place in the University of Surrey – which, by the way, was fairly well equipped to handle the hot weather!
Declan Trezize, Technology Consultant for Monster.com and currently responsible for the delivery of the UK’s largest job board, Universal Jobmatch for the Department for the Work and Pensions, took us through a quite an interesting data-crunching metaphor about unstructured data and….wait for it…punk rock!
Monster.com currently holds 10m CV’s on their database – most of them with completely different formats- which means that they have a very strong need to convert all “chaotic, anarchist and rules-disliking data” into something that allows them to analyse, interpret and action in order to make the appropriate data-driven decisions.
Declan went on to explain how semantic search is a key element to making sense of unstructured data as it’s allows them to identify “fields” or “entities” which can then be organised and coded so they can be categorised and ranked at a later stage.
There isn’t much that we can do with big data unless it’s properly analysed and converted into something that can be understood and actioned. Having just data means “we know nothing”, however, knowing the what’s, how’s and why’s of such data means that we have “actionable intelligence” that we can use to make well informed decisions.
This is probably the first “big data” talk that I've attended where none of the attendees not only didn't yawn but were fully engaged and enjoying every bit – including the cracking opening of the presentation with The Undertones at full blast.