08 October 2018 by Spencer Symmons
The term ‘Big Data’ is a relatively new addition to the dictionary of tech, but the concept behind it is far from ground-breaking – you try an approach, analyse its effectiveness and make the necessary adjustments for next time. The evolution of technology means that not only is more information being collected, but that it can now be stored, processed and utilised faster than ever before, so it’s time we start making the most of it.
Many businesses sit on copious amounts of data they may not even be aware they have at their disposal. Whether it’s sourced internally, which is classified as data that a business has control over such as client relationships, business transactions or social media analytics, or externally, such as information regarding customer trends and behaviour, putting the information to good use can drive business growth in a way that little else can compete with.
Quality not quantity
It doesn’t matter how much data you have at your disposal, it comes down to how you use it. You’d be hard pushed to find an industry that wouldn’t benefit from Big Data – the farming and manufacturing sectors can draw from past experiences to increase efficiency in their processes in the same way that finance, retail or healthcare providers can. In the tech space it’s arguably even easier to harness the power of Big Data, with a lot of the necessary infrastructure already in place to get you started.
Information as vague as employee break times can benefit a business. For example, Bank of America found that their most successful call centre employees took their breaks with each other, and so they implemented a group break policy that saw performance improve by more than 20 per cent. They are the same processes that allow LinkedIn to show sponsored posts to the right people and healthcare providers to keep track of patient records – the only difference being the amount of data that is procured.
Reaping the benefits
Using Big Data to its full potential opens up a lot of possibilities for businesses. Efficiency is undoubtedly the frontrunner – the key for any company is finding what they can do to cut down on time and costs without compromising the quality of a service or product. Being able to visualise market trends, spending patterns and work schedules will highlight what’s going well, and more importantly, what’s not.
It also enables you to understand the market in a more accurate way. Big Data, gathered over an extended period of time, will show you who to target, when to target them and what they require. Some systems can even go as far as monitoring your online reputation by carrying out social media sentiment analysis, so you know exactly what your customers are saying about you without having to trawl through social media and review sites.
Most importantly, however, Big Data will help you find value in what you’re doing. Using that information correctly can lead to improved performance, outdoing your peers and becoming a leader in your sector. It saves time, money and effort, with the right system providing reports that can easily be digested, meaning all that’s left to do is implement the findings. By maximising the potential of Big Data, the sky really is the limit for the growth of your business.
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