A few months back, I heard that since the phrase “big data” was getting shopworn (and a bad reputation on top of that), some analysts were upgrading the term to “smart data.” It does make sense that all big data is actually pretty dumb, and all it really amounts to is a big pile of data that is mainly useless to decision makers. But how does introducing something called smart data suggest we're getting more than just another marketing term?

Jeanne Ross, director and principal research scientist at MIT’s Center for Information Systems Research, proposes a set of actions companies can take to turn big data into smart data. In an interview posted at MIT Sloan Management Review by Michael Fitzgerald (contributing editor to SMR, not to be confused with Celent's own Michael Fitzgerald), she also points to two leading insurance companies as examples of how to make this transition.

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