One of the constant debates around big data is around how to connect together disparate data sources, some of which will be unstructured. But before you start worrying about that, make sure you're fully utilising the structured data sources you already have.
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Gavin McCairns, chief risk officer for the Department of Immigration and Border Protection, raised that point during the GovInnovate 2014 conference in Canberra yesterday:
I like fat data: are you using what you've got to its maximum potential?
It's an important but often overlooked point. If you have structured data that isn't being analysed, that's likely to be more rewarding that diving straight into a big data project. As well, the results of that analysis can feed into any future big data plans.