Big Data Gets a Budget Boost, But How Can It Help Your Business?

March 21, 2014
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Big DataBig data is a big deal – so much so that Chancellor George Osborne announced plans for a centre dedicated to it in this week’s Budget speech.

Named after the pioneering code breaker Alan Turing, the Alan Turing Institute will focus on further innovation in big data research.

Big data is loosely described as the collecting, organising and analysing of large volumes of data.

Big DataBig data is a big deal – so much so that Chancellor George Osborne announced plans for a centre dedicated to it in this week’s Budget speech.

Named after the pioneering code breaker Alan Turing, the Alan Turing Institute will focus on further innovation in big data research.

Big data is loosely described as the collecting, organising and analysing of large volumes of data.

The new institute will see the Government invest £42 million over the next five years into big data research. But how can big data help your business get ahead?

The government says big data “can allow businesses to enhance their manufacturing processes, target their marketing better, and provide more efficient services”.

Unprecedented ability to analyse

The Government’s claims about the business benefits of big data are backed up by independent tech analyst Steve Nimmons. He says big data offers firms an “unprecedented ability to analyse business data”.

Deal with soaring customer expectations

The saying ‘customer is king’ has never been so relevant.

The white heat technological revolution of mobile and social media has seen customer expectations soar – and also given them a platform to complain when those expectations are not met. So analysing data about your customers can deliver key insights to help ensure their expectations are met.

Nimmons explains: “Customers are technically savvy and ever-more demanding. They expect businesses to treat them as individuals, not as customer segments and respond to their needs at speed.”

Get to know your customers

A recent survey by IBM found 80% of CEOs believe they deliver a superior customer experience, while just 8% of their customers agree.

This is where big data analytics come in. By analysing this data you can learn invaluable information about your customers, which in turn will help you understand what they want and how they want it.

Nimmons explains: “Big Data helps you understand customers at greater depth, take the temperature of customer sentiments and scan for emerging opportunities and disruptive business models.”

Commit to big data to get ahead of your rivals

study from Forbes found that firms making good use of big data were seeing benefits, while those that aren’t were less likely to achieve their aims.

The survey of 211 senior marketers found 60% of firms that used big data for at least 50% of their marketing campaigns had exceeded their targets. However, this dropped to just a third for firms that used the technique in less than half of campaigns.

Meanwhile nearly three-quarters of firms using big data for more than half could pinpoint their target audience in all or most media activities – twice as much as those in the less than 50% group.

The statistics show that firms showing a commitment to big data analytics are gaining competitive advantage over those that are not.

As Nimmons concludes: “In short, Big Data is a must have weapon in the information race. Get ahead of your competitors and get on a level playing field with your customers. If either have better information and technology than you, your days could be numbered.”

The Alan Turing Institute

A hugely influential logician and computer scientists, Bletchley Park code breaker Alan Turing was crucial to breaking German ciphers during World War 2.

In his Budget speech, George Osborne said: “We will found the Alan Turing Institute to ensure Britain leads the way again in the use of big data and algorithm research. I am determined that our country is going to out-compete, out-smart and out-do the rest of the world.”