As the single largest growing element in modern IT services, big data has dominated the industry. The abundance of available data and ease of access could quickly become overwhelming to untrained individuals. The leading enterprise trend seems to be acquiring data in mass. This, however is not where big data proves beneficial. The old-time saying rings true here; quality is far better than quantity.

Every minute you spend reading this blog excerpt, 98,000 tweets appear in feeds all around the globe. The rate at which data is being produced is unprecedented. This knowledge, naturally leads executives to believe big data is all about massive amounts of data. That’s only one piece of the puzzle. A good way to look at big data is through the 4V’s; volume, velocity, variety, and validity. The last V being of great importance. Collecting large amounts of data can provide your business a competitive edge, but only if that data is useful and accurate.

A big industry utilizing big data is insurance. Garrett Flynn, managing director at this year’s KPMG Insurance Conference in New York shared some of his practical insights on big data utilization in the industry. Flynn discussed how big data and predictive analytics assist insurers in preventing claims, managing risks, and assessing consumer segmentation. It also allows access to new channels, capabilities, and methods of presentation. He also urged executives to utilize big data on an organizational level. In his perspective, data is not merely an IT function. Flynn claims, for these practices to be successful, data quality must be at an all-time high; “more is not necessarily better.”