Thousands and millions of articles, reports, videos, and TV channels out there are singing praises of Big Data. They talk about how it will change the world beyond recognition and impact all aspects of our day-to-day lives, including businesses. But before we dive into that, let’s first talk about what exactly we mean by big data.
What Is Big Data?
Big data refers to a collection of structured and unstructured data in massive volumes that’s nearly impossible to process with any of the traditional methods. It wasn’t until the early 2000s that the term gained traction when an industry analyst, Doug Laney, articulated big data as three V’s—volume, velocity, and variety. Over the past few years, two more V’s have emerged in the form of value and veracity.
There are several examples of big data, but some of the most common ones around us include a stock exchange market and social media.
For many companies and industrialists, data is an essential asset. However, without proper analysis and assessment, that data has no value. New tools and algorithms are in constant development to improve efficiency and reduce the cost of finding data value. With recent technological breakthroughs, more enterprises can now afford to analyze their data and enhance business growth.
But this begs another question.
How Does Big Data Help Companies?
Experts concur that big data plays a crucial role in the industry, but why is big data important in business? Using big data appropriately, you can develop practices, strategies, and procedures that make your business operations more efficient and increase sales. By gathering valuable information and in-depth insights, you’ll be in a better position to make informed decisions regarding daily tasks.
Although it can help your company in many different aspects, these are the five key ways big data can help your business:
1. Making Better Business Decisions
Big data provides companies the tools needed to make better and wiser business decisions. Instead of basing crucial decisions on assumptions and “what feels right,” they rely on real-world data. However, for this to work effectively, every employee in the company must have access to the collected data. Data is often under the sole domain of IT heads and analysts and no one else. But to answer pressing business questions and strategize successful campaigns, every team member must have access to it.
Providing company-wide access to data is referred to as data democratization. To avoid overwhelming employees with large data sets, you can give them access in a controlled way—helping them find relevant answers much quicker and easier.
2. Understanding Your Customers
After talking to your friend on the phone, have you ever opened Facebook to see recommendations of exactly what you were discussing? Understanding social media’s knowledge about your life and providing relevant suggestions is the primary benefit of big data. To term it precisely, it means that the better you know your customer, the better you can meet their needs.
Marketing professionals and big data have something in common in this regard. But unlike most marketers, big data can virtually answer any question you may have about consumer behavior.
3. Perform Risk Analysis
A company’s success depends on many factors. No matter how well you run your business operations, other economic and social aspects are critical in determining your achievements. But big data allows you to run a predictive analysis by scanning social media feeds and newspaper reports. Therefore, you can always stay up-to-date with the latest market trends and new developments in the industry. These benefits can help a company enhance sales, lower costs, and streamline staffing. By improving the financial and digital aspects, big data and risk management can help businesses improve. It can do this by identifying fraud, reducing customer churn rate, decreasing employee attrition, and lowering the risk for future growth.
4. Improving Business Operations
When it comes to industrial settings like factory production lines, automation and robotics may be already well-known. But unsurprisingly, many other business areas and functions are also becoming automated to drive efficiency. This rise in automation stems from big data.
When we add big data to the equation, it can transform several people-related operations. Companies are already employing AI-based chatbots to answer frequently asked questions. Other tedious and repetitive tasks will also be automated with time to prevent skilled workers from performing mundane tasks. This will allow employees to utilize their time creatively and add more value to a business.
5. Generating An Income
Big data doesn’t just improve business operations and decisions but can also help companies boost revenue or develop an additional income stream. The data you collect from customer feedback is valuable not only to you but also to other similar businesses. Therefore, you can sell the gathered data trend to large industries operating in the same sector.
However, you may even find interested parties outside your industry. There may be individuals interested in insights on economic activity, customer behavior, or other relevant topics. By seeking out these players, your company can explore collaborative opportunities that are profitable to both partners.
What Are The Steps Of Using Big Data In Business?
Although big data is tremendously beneficial in running business operations, its workflow must be well-designed to maximize efficiency.
Here are the five fundamental steps your business must take before putting big data to work:
1. Set A Big Data Strategy
Managing, storing, and sharing data within and outside your company are all part of this process.
2. Identify Big Data Sources
These may be streaming data, publicly available data, social media data, or other cloud data sources.
3. Access, Manage & Store The Data
Install relevant computing systems with efficiency, speed, power, and flexibility to store and manage large data sets.
4. Analyze The Data
Big data analytics provides business valuable insights and information, so make sure you invest in a high-performance system.
5. Make Intelligent, Data-Driven Decisions
Seize the total value of your data and rely on it to drive business decisions and generate more profitable revenue.
The role of big data in driving business growth doesn’t stop here. You must identify how it can best help your company grow. It’s not something you can achieve overnight, but you’ll know how to employ the relevant development strategies and help your business grow.