Report says more than half of businesses say their data and analytics are not being fully utilized
By Frank Lupo
Big data has become a fairly common term used across industries. It refers to large, complex volumes of data that are generated from multiple sources. According to a new report by SNS Research, Big Data is now a $57 billion market, and it is predicted that investments in the sector are expected to grow by 10 percent over the next four years, reaching $76 billion by the end of 2020.
As exabytes of data are created every day, businesses are sitting on large quantities of information generated by channels such as social media platforms and mobile payment apps.
The concept of big data has been around for years and growing numbers of organizations are recognizing the value that can be found in Big Data and analytics. As a result, there is an increasing number of business leaders waking up to the fact that being able to store, access and transform business data is one thing, but if a company does not have employees armed with the skills required to deal with the business intelligence gathered, the return on any investment made has the likely potential to fall far short of expectations.
If managed correctly, data can be used to make smarter business moves, drive more efficient operations and keep customers happy. In turn, this all helps increase profits. As the role of data evolves, more businesses need technology to organize and analyze their data.
Despite the growing awareness of the importance of Big Data, figures show that only 41 percent of business leaders surveyed globally believe their data and analytics systems are being fully utilized, meaning that a significant number of organizations are not doing enough to get the most out of any data collected.
For these reasons, many companies are looking to work with IT solutions partners, in order to adopt the latest technology and modernize their information security frameworks. It is predicted that the world data analytics outsourcing market will be worth $US5.9 billion by 2020. Businesses realize that by partnering with specialists, they gain access to wider technical skills. They are also better able to measure customer needs and satisfaction through analytics that can empower businesses to give customers what they want. This can mean the creation of new products and customer-driven services based on reliable data, which can ultimately help businesses thrive in an increasingly competitive landscape. However, Big Data requires new technology, and organizations without strong data focused leadership will fall behind their competitors.
Businesses who invest in the right partnerships will be able to capitalize on the opportunities made available by Big Data analytics, ensuring robust future growth and a marketplace dominated by global companies with big budgets. According to the ‘Peer – Research Big Data Analytics Survey, Big Data enables organizations to improve decision-making, relationships with customers and financial performance.
It is important to remember that Big Data isn’t just for big businesses. While small-to-medium sized organizations are not churning out nearly as much data as larger enterprises, sifting through that data to extract meaningful insights can be a powerful competitive advantage, nonetheless.
Business leaders need to understand that the best-informed decisions are made when data is involved, and is accessible to the majority. Big data can be broken down, deconstructed, and analyzed in the best way for your company. Business targets can be better met with data analysis and organization tools, so long as they fully understand the benefits of the technology. It’s key that business leaders take the time to get to grips with big data analysis, and see how it could improve any and all aspects of your business, including quality as well as customer support and services.
Analytics technology enables businesses to gather data from a huge number of sources while reducing the risk of siloing valuable information. For example, data can be used to analyze where ideal customers reside in, how much they spend on average, and what time of day they shop. This enables businesses to provide coupons or discounts to key individuals to strengthen their loyalty. These can also help in targeting other members of the group who may not be a part of your current client base.
For small and medium sized businesses, venturing into the world of Big Data can be daunting, and a common concern that senior management face is if they are collecting too much data. Ultimately, there’s a significant difference between Big Data and “lots of data.” This concern is put to rest for businesses that partner with specialists who take the task to manage and evaluate the data to derive compelling insights for businesses to utilize and make informed decisions.
While we live in a world of growing data abundance, and the ability to store and analyze data can be daunting, it is essential to take into consideration the advantages that Big Data can have for businesses. At its core, the collected data sets can enable organisations to identify trends, patterns and gain a competitive advantage. Predictive analytics allows organisations to gather intelligence on customer spending and behaviour to better understand customers preferences and provide more customer centric interactions.
Big Data has varying levels of importance to different businesses, but what is common, is the fact that data will allow better insight and enable companies to make fact-based decisions and better manage both performance and risks. Ultimately, if utilized correctly, it will allow organizations to make better informed decisions and guarantee growth in an increasingly competitive market.
The author is Frank Lupo, Big Data Solution Architect, Micro Strategies Inc.