Although it does not receive much attention, the growing flood of data businesses must deal with — often referred to as "data deluge" — is a growing problem for the professional cleaning industry and other business sectors. According to a study conducted by Kelton Research, this onslaught of data — as much as one trillion gigabytes every year — is making it more and more difficult for managers and executives to make sound, strategic business decisions.
The study found that 56 percent of the business executives surveyed reported that they are overwhelmed by the amount of data their company must manage. Making things worse, 62 percent indicated that they are "frequently interrupted by irrelevant data."
"The result is that many [business] decisions are made on a ‘cross your fingers' basis," says Michael Wilson, Marketing Director for AFFLINK. According to Wilson, much of the data overload comes from the following sources:
• Sales data and customer relationship-related activities
• Trend reports & analysis
• E-mail
• Customer databases
• Instant messaging
• Social media news feeds

Wilson adds that similar studies by Gartner and IDC, both research technology firms, indicate that the data deluge will grow by 650 percent over the next five years and that the world's volume of data is now doubling every 18 months.
"This sea of data is clearly creating challenges for many businesses," adds Wilson. "Not only is it overwhelming, much of it is unusable in its current state. In fact, one study found that many executives report losing business because they were unable to accurately track and measure their information."
To address the problem, Wilson suggests that managers, cleaning industry executives, and others look into data analysis systems that can harness this data and make it manageable. "These systems can provide clarity and perspective so that organizations can improve their forecasting, make effective decisions, and improve their bottom-line results."