7 ways to do big data right using the cloud

Data as a service, or DaaS, can help businesses anticipate trends and act smarter through analytics -- if you follow these best practices

There's a wealth of data that companies can use to better understand customers and identify emerging business opportunities and threats. But how to access and work with all the data? An emerging type of service called data as a service, or DaaS, promises to help.

With DaaS, organizations can gain access to information they need on an on-demand basis, much like they acquire applications via software as a service (SaaS) and storage, servers, and networking components through infrastructure as a service (IaaS). Data is stored by the service provider and accessible to users from the Internet.

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Experts say that although DaaS is still an emerging concept, it's becoming more relevant as organizations leverage big data -- gathering and analyzing massive amounts of information to help run the business, provide services to customers, identify trends, and open up new market opportunities.

As business and economics research firm McKinsey Global Institute pointed out in a May 2011 report, the amount of data in the world is exploding, and analyzing large data sets "will become a key basis of competition, underpinning new waves of productivity growth, innovation, and consumer surplus." The growing volume and detail of information captured by organizations, the rise of multimedia, social media, and the "Internet of things" will fuel exponential growth in data for the foreseeable future, the firm says.

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