In a world that is increasingly being run by Big Data, every entrepreneur (and bigwig in the larger industries) should know what Big Data is and why it is changing the face of business.
So, what is Big Data?
Big Data, in a nutshell, is the term used to describe the massive volumes of data that any given business tends to use on a daily and regular basis. The data can be either ‘structured data’ or ‘unstructured data’. What makes Big Data a great tool is the fact that Big data is capable of being examined, inspected and scrutinized, to gather key insights that will, in turn, lead to superior decision-making and strategic business movements. Various industries benefit from Big Data. They can use it to efficiently capture and analyze loads of complex information at once. This means they can pay more attention to their marketing strategies and streamline other aspects of their business.
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The marvelous thing about Big Data, according to MIT professors Andrew McAfee and Erik Brynjolfsson, as stated in their ‘Big Data: The Management Revolution – Harvard Business Review’, is:
Exploiting vast new flows of information can radically improve your company’s performance. But first, you’ll have to change your decision-making culture.
The statement above is loaded but filled with valuable information. Using Big Data in business models means employers will need to adopt an entirely new way of thinking, especially when it comes to decision-making, and implementation. The way that Big Data analytics assists in gathering information surrounding potential and existing customers, from various sources, least of all being social media, means that marketers are now able to garner exactly what types of trends their target market is facing. They can also get a more in-depth look at what it is their customers’ hope to receive from the company (business) in question. A perfect example of using Big Data to gain some customer interaction and subsequent profit is when a top-quality brand the likes of mFortune takes up Big Data Analytics and utilizes it to bring to the table a perfect bonus offer that only their target market players would be interested in taking up. By taking a poll and listening to what the customers are saying, Big Data helps companies learn what their clientele really wants from them. Businesses taking Big Data onto their everyday procedures will need to implement and keep in mind the four key attributes of Big Data, namely the four Vs of Big Data:
By expounding upon the implications that Big Data may have on any given business, it is clear to see that many various industries will indeed only benefit from the Big Data wave that is taking over the digital industry in a big way. Industries that can be identified as having a great stake in taking on Big Data include (but by no means are limited to) the following:
- Energy and Utilities
- Communications, Media and Entertainment
- Banking and Securities
- Healthcare Providers
- Retail and Wholesale trade
- Manufacturing and Natural Resources
Let’s take a closer look at a pseudo-case study example, to further illustrate the ease of which Big Data can simply step in and make those marketing strategies and processes more streamlined and more profitable, affecting the bottom-line in a meaningful way. Example: Before Big Data made its official debut, a financial service company, for instance, would employ “small data” in order to analyze and determine the best way forward in terms of data collation and customer relations evaluations. Small data would be information the likes of credit scores, for example. However, as the digital world at large only continues to reinvent itself with innovations and technologies pertaining to this industry, the assessing of small data has become obsolete, as there is just too much data available to assess. Hence the need for Big Data! By offering a way to effectively systemize and structure the hordes of fragmented data into something cohesive and meaningful for the financial company in question. In effect, what Big Data has achieved is a succinct and concise way to take the data procured, and use is to do any one (if not all) of the following:
- Superior planning of business strategies
- Providing suitable financial products and services
- Identifying potential markets to approach and serve
- Evaluating potential customers more efficiently
Big data helps improve services by offering companies a means to gain comprehensive insights which may prove to be quintessential in making business decisions.
With an estimated 71 percent of marketers claiming to be headed the way of Big Data Analytics to procure a workable marketing solution, within the next two years, it may be safe to assume that Big Data is making waves in a big way. It appears that we have only yet touched the tip of this ‘Big Data iceberg’. The surface that is seen is a miniscule vantage point of what the future of Big Data has in store. Taking leave from Teradata’s survey, what has been revealed is a willingness from a vast number of companies today, from a wide range of various industries, that are earnestly looking to effectively leverage their data into a strategic marketing campaign, which would be on a more systematic basis. This way allowing for a measurable increase in profits for the various industries that have made the decision to go ahead with implementing Big Data analytics within their businesses.
Big data is a remarkable technology that is changing our lives in fascinating ways. Every business needs to be aware of the changes it creates. It is ideal for marketing, but there are many other amazing applications as well.