Too much information.

Author:Dombrowski, Joe

It's not your imagination. More bits and bytes of information are coming our way at an ever-increasing, mind-numbing speed. Consider that on an average day, there are 24 petabytes (there are 1 million gigabytes in one petabyte; companies like Google[TM] and Facebook[TM] store more than 100 petabytes of data on their servers) of data processed by Google[TM] and more than 500 million tweets posted on Twitter[R] (see sidebar, "The World of Data"). [paragraph] We create and share massive amounts of data every minute of every day. Separating what's important and useful from what is merely one more piece of information is at the heart of the "big data" puzzle. [paragraph] Big data--the massive amount of information we generate and capture--is generally considered so extensive that it would be impossible to analyze without integrated technology.

When the lending industry considers the term big data, we generally mean the data as well as the tools that capture, manage, store, protect, search and analyze all this information.

The power of increased information

Think of the impact this volume of information has had on our personal lives. The data we generate and consume just in social media continues to grow, making it easier to find a good restaurant, check sports scores, learn the latest news and avoid traffic snarls.

Through text, images, video and voice messages, we are personally creating and consuming detailed information at much faster rates than ever before. In fact, 90 percent of the world's data was generated in the last two years, according to ScienceDaily[R].

In the same way, lending organizations can take advantage of information that is generated internally, or purchased from third parties, including social media sites; government entities like taxing authorities; police and public safety departments; and property information portals.

Using integrated technology and advisory services helps simplify all this data into actionable insights that drive better business decisions.

We can all agree there's a certain amount of turmoil in our industry around this issue, amplified by new regulations and increasing demands for more and more data that may or may not have been tracked. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) insists data must be available and easily accessible, but doesn't prescribe the mechanics of that process, which adds to the underlying uncertainty.

For the real estate finance industry, it's especially important to understand the scope of the data available today and discern how data expansion is changing the way the mortgage market operates, now and in the future.

Making sense of big data

As data exponentially expands and becomes more comprehensive, there is an opportunity to leverage it for better decision making. Problems previously restricted to specific segments of the industry are now presenting themselves in a much broader setting.

Organizations that are able to use technology to cope effectively with fast-moving data--and make sense of it--will be the ones to see...

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