Why DIY data collection should come before automation

If you’re getting started on your data journey, there’s no substitute for the personal touch

Data has been described as everything from the new gold, to the new oil - but really, it’s much more than that. Data has become more than just a valuable commodity, for many businesses, it’s essential for their very survival. However, immersing yourself in data carries its own risks.

For Or Lenchner, CEO of data collection platform Bright Data, many organisations make the mistake of trying to run before they can walk, gathering as much data as they can with little thought to what their actual needs are, and how they’re served by the data they’re gathering.

“Data isn’t the new gold,” says Lenchner, speaking on The IT Pro Podcast; “it's the new water. But you know, you can drown with too much water – so just take what you need. No more. You can always scale up in the future.”

The most valuable tip for businesses who want to experiment with data collection and analysis, he says, is to eschew fancy AI-powered tools altogether, and start with manual processes.

“There’s no replacement for just doing it yourself for the first time. You can throw terms like AI  and ML into the air, and yeah, they'll handle it. But what the hell; I mean, you know what data you need. So just grab the data that you need, and later on scale up.”

Implementing mass-scale data collection, he said, is a waste of time and money if you don’t know what you’re looking for. When Lenchner started as a product manager, he said that his most valuable data came from simply calling customers and asking them a few basic questions.

“As a data company, it took us, like, four years to implement our first data warehouse,” he says, “not because we couldn't, but because we didn't want to; we had so much to do with the basic data that we collected internally.”

“If you're doing a good job, you'll need to scale up to more places, gathering more data, which is great. Just, you know, start reasonably.”

Featured Resources

Unlocking collaboration: Making software work better together

How to improve collaboration and agility with the right tech

Download now

Four steps to field service excellence

How to thrive in the experience economy

Download now

Six things a developer should know about Postgres

Why enterprises are choosing PostgreSQL

Download now

The path to CX excellence for B2B services

The four stages to thrive in the experience economy

Download now

Recommended

The IT Pro Podcast: What makes a Silicon Valley CEO? (Part One)
chief executive officer (CEO)

The IT Pro Podcast: What makes a Silicon Valley CEO? (Part One)

9 Apr 2021
The IT Pro Podcast: The tech keeping your telly on
IT infrastructure

The IT Pro Podcast: The tech keeping your telly on

19 Mar 2021
The IT Pro Podcast: Can technology make us more than human?
Technology

The IT Pro Podcast: Can technology make us more than human?

12 Mar 2021
The IT Pro Podcast: There’s no such thing as obsolete tech
Technology

The IT Pro Podcast: There’s no such thing as obsolete tech

26 Feb 2021

Most Popular

Microsoft is submerging servers in boiling liquid to prevent Teams outages
data centres

Microsoft is submerging servers in boiling liquid to prevent Teams outages

7 Apr 2021
Hackers are using fake messages to break into WhatsApp accounts
instant messaging (IM)

Hackers are using fake messages to break into WhatsApp accounts

8 Apr 2021
How to find RAM speed, size and type
Laptops

How to find RAM speed, size and type

8 Apr 2021