Wikipedia defines Big Data as:
“A field that treats ways to analyze, systematically extract information from or otherwise deal with data sets that are too large or complex to be dealt with by traditional data-processing application software.”
Huge data sets predict greater accuracy and more statistical power but dealing with them comes with greater complexity and probability of error if dealt in a conventional manner. That is why Big Data is categorized as a separate field and requires special systems and tools to deal with it.
What does data or big data help in? In one word, the answer is decision-making. Since the world is turning into a global village, companies are turning into multinationals and the customer base and operations are outgrowing geographical boundaries, the scope of decisions is also expanding dramatically. Where one good step can make you create history, one wrong decision may make you history. Hence your hunch or gut feeling is not enough to support your decisions anymore. You need to have statistical power backed by research. Here is where the role of Big Data jumps in: to create and support Business Intelligence. Though this is not the sole purpose of Big Data, this article is going to focus only on how it supports Business Intelligence.
Let us have a look how Big Data helps in various business aspects.
Creating competitive advantage for Big Data:
No matter how much you write, read or talk about it, in a nutshell every business is ultimately after achieving sustainable competitive advantage. It may not be that difficult to have a competitive edge over the competition, the real trick lies in sustaining it. Big Data has enabled companies to adopt data-driven strategies in order to keep the competition at an arm’s length. Even when the new entrants enter the industry with strategies backed by Big Data, they have a fair probability to take over a big chunk of market share.
Discovering customer needs, taste and preferences:
Every business survives, sustains, and grows through its customers. It is as important as cliched that “customer is the king.” The more you know what your king/customer needs or wants, the better you can serve and gain customer loyalty. Luckily Big Data is a master of the art. Through social media usage, purchase history, and other means Big Data can help you understand your customers’ taste and preferences.
Predicting the market trends:
The beauty of data comes to surface when it turns into charts, graphs and information that speaks to uncover the bottom of the iceberg. Big Data may reveal astonishing realities taking shape or about to take shape. It predicts the market trends and helps you gear up and strategize accordingly. It gives your business a proactive approach instead of being reactive and under stress.
Interacting with the customers:
How on earth is it practically possible to interact with millions of customers at a personal level Thanks to Big Data, it is possible now. Customer of today is well aware of his power. One happy
customer is the gateway to many others. Whereas one dissatisfied customer can spread word
of mouth that can potentially damage your sales and reputation. Thus it is imperative to hear them and address their concerns. Customers love to be thanked for their purchase. They also seek information about brands or products and readily available information and a quick response to their query often results in a purchase. Big Data allows you to touch the customer’s heart at a personalized level that has a lasting impact on customer support, satisfaction and loyalty.
Developing new products:
If you want to create your product after a thorough market research in order to identify a market gap, Big Data can be your safe haven. It can show you the unseen, tell you the untold and help you find the suitable opportunity that needs addressing. After identifying the right market gap, you can design your products accordingly. This reduces the risk factor and increases the likelihood of market acceptance for the new product.
Improving the existing products:
Not only Big Data helps in developing new products, it also helps in improving the existing
products. Some companies use sensors in their products to collect Big Data and analyze how the products are used in real life. It sheds light on ways to improve product design, shape, packaging, functionality and different features.
Safety and security:
Since Big Data tools plot the entire data on one landscape, it becomes easier to identify internal threats or leaks, if any. In this way, the private and confidential information can be kept safe and risk of cyber theft can be averted.
Identifying red flags:
Big Data does not only show you the areas of improvement. Since it takes into account the social media feeds and news reports, it also identifies and predicts the negative market trends or potential risk in the external environment. In this way the businesses can adjust to face the
potential problem upfront.
Creating new revenue streams:
You’re dealing with Big Data that predicts and analyzes customer taste and preferences and market trends. No wonder this information is valuable to your business venture, it is valuable for other parties as well. You can sell it to other similar or large-scale industry players and generate additional revenue.
All these benefits of Big Data are ingredients to effective business intelligence that ultimately leads to business success and growth.