It is no secret that the amount of data is growing exponentially. According to EMC, the digital universe is going to grow to more than 40,000 exabytes by 2020. The number alone is intimidating. Making the most of data can be even more daunting.

As Jeff Winsper, president of Black Ink, notes, "organizations of all sizes are drowning in data." For years, companies have made it a point to collect as much data as possible. With so much information at hand, many are feeling overwhelmed and unsure what the next steps need to be to make the most out of the data they already have as well as what to collect next.

One major problem lies with the fact that the hype around Big Data has caused organizations to shift their focus from analysis to collection, explains Wilson Raj, global customer intelligence director at SAS. But as Raj notes, "It's not just about the volume of data captured." What's more important is what organizations do with this data and how they're using it to help them achieve their business goals. In fact, in a recent article, Forbes described Big Data as "the killer technology of our time." Having the right data and using it to extract actionable insights has become one of the most important achievements for organizations.