Big data comes with big hype — as noted by Healthcare IT News, it’s often associated with “images of sci-fi movies rather than real-world uses.” Companies are getting tired of claims that big data can magically cure cancer or suddenly turn ailing business models upside down. Beyond over-the-top claims and pragmatic naysayers, however, it’s possible to leverage key business benefits with big data. Here’s a look at the top five.
Your business lives or dies on the loyalty of consumers. It’s no surprise, then, that you need every advantage possible when it comes to satisfying current customers and attracting new clientele. According to Business 2 Community, big data plays an integral role here by allowing companies to discover the current requirements of customers, how well existing offerings meet this demand, along with any changes needed to their current business model.
It works like this: With a big data solution tied to your front-facing CRM, it’s possible for sales and customer care to safely and easily access data they need — such as purchase history and previous issue resolution — and quickly resolve consumer issues. What’s more, big data models offer the ideal platform to test new product rollouts against market demographics and see where you come up short.
What’s going on in your organization? Not just in IT, but everywhere: Are sales staff using apps that aren’t approved by tech pros? Are executives accessing data that isn’t related to their current project assignments? Big data tools give you real-time insight about information across your organization so you can see who’s accessing it, when, where and why. The result? You’re never flying blind.
Every company wants to lower cost. While cloud computing is the tech often associated with reduced spending, big data solutions can also help your business cut costs. Here’s how: Tools like Hadoop or cloud-based solutions let you examine data as it enters your network in real time. Equipped with specific insight, you can decide if data needs to be kept close at hand for quick turnaround, funneled to cold storage sites, or discarded altogether. Bottom line? You’re not wasting time or money keeping data you don’t need, while necessary information is always close at hand.
Learning in Motion
No matter how good your employees are, they can’t do everything. The sheer volume of data now created on a daily basis makes it impossible for even the best IT department to keep up. As noted by IT Pro Portal, the development of new tech initiatives such as machine learning makes it possible to analyze huge amounts of data on the fly without the need for constant IT oversight. With 62 percent of companies asked planning to implement machine learning techniques over the next few years, expect this technology to quickly become more sophisticated even as the buy-in price comes down.
Big data can also help your company leverage social media — critical in a world where word of mouth means more than most advertising campaigns. As noted by Forbes, big data is now being used as a building block to help solve larger social ills such as poverty and hunger. By tapping data tools to address smaller-scale projects at the local company level, meanwhile, and then adroitly sharing this effort on social media, it’s possible to garner the most coveted type of “free” advertising: Organic shares. The caveat here? Social efforts must be backed by real enthusiasm. Big data as a social bluff is something savvy customers will see right through — and the backlash isn’t worth it.
Big data comes with big hype. However, that doesn’t eliminate potential benefits: Increased loyalty, transparent networking, lowered costs, improved learning and enhanced social impact are all potential business boosts.