Big Data is a big business opportunity thanks to its transformative and disruptive nature. Every business, regardless of size, should understand the significant potential of big data if it has any goal of staying ahead of the competition in a world where the market is constantly changing.
It is unfortunate that not many know what big data is, or how to deal with it, but that is partly because the term does not have a precise definition. According to Josh Dreller, the Director of Market Research at Kenshoo, big data can be boiled down to anything that’s too big to deal with in an Microsoft Excel spreadsheet. The amount of data collected by companies today is massive and more than 90 percent of the world’s data has been produced during the past two years alone. IBM cites that the data created every year amounts to 25 quintillion bytes annually. But what do you do with that much data?
While having data at your disposal is great, it isn’t of much use to you if you don’t have insight. Many tools can help make sense of the information and use it to advance your business. Here are three ways to make big data work for your business.
Quantify your website
If you are one of those individuals that looks at their website and wonders just who the visitors are, big data can help you answer that. Some tools like Quantcast allow you to type your site’s URL and press Enter to receive all the juicy bits about your visitors. You can see what cities they come from, their age, gender, income, ethnicity, education, how often they visit your website, whether they use mobile devices or desktop computers, and other categorized information you may be interested in. You may need to put a fragment of code on your website and register to get quantified for this to work.
Understanding the basic characteristics of your traffic can help you become more relevant and target them more effectively. It can also help you identify a new market for your business. Many elearning companies use data from quantification of their sites to implement courses that are in demand.
Take the guessing out of business decisions
Wouldn’t be great if business decisions would make themselves? For many firms, this is the holy grail. According to this study, more than 70 percent of insurers reported that big data analytics had transformed how they made business decisions. More than 90 percent of companies across several business sectors cited that big data was critical to improving operational and strategic outcomes.
In addition, Vertafore explains how various companies like MetLife and Progressive use big data analytics to get a clearer picture of their consumers, and how it also helps firms determine how products should be priced and even prevent fraud. The information provided by big data analytics is often meaningful and valuable for your company. If you can understand the insights, you can apply it to strategies that are based on facts and not guesswork to attain continuous improvement.
Leverage the business data ecosystem
There are many business benefits of linking and sharing data across industry sectors and domains. Look for opportunities to work with other business partners, to combine and fertilize your data for mutual venture benefit. Consider an agricultural machinery manufacturer who uses data from sensors in farm equipment to help customers improve fuel efficiency while decreasing downtime. If those same data were linked to data on fertilizer usage, soil conditions, and weather, it would help optimize the production of crop. It will also pave the way for partnerships with other companies along agricultural data value chain. Leveraging the data ecosystem can go a long way in helping drive sales for your enterprise, by connecting you to other firms.
People are creating data at an unprecedented rate, and this has created a ‘hot’ tool for incorporating into business strategy. However, it is easy for big data to be interpreted as useless if the proper analytic is not used. And while analytic tools are always changing, adopting the right tools can have immense benefits when it comes to driving your business, ranging from more relevant advertising programs to improved product development.