Harnessing the Power of Big Data

How effective use of data aggregation can result in business success

Whatever business you’re in, using data to better understand your marketplace and customers is one of the most effective ways to improve sales and increase revenue. Failing to collect and analyse information which is readily available could be the difference between a flourishing enterprise, and a non-starter. But what exactly is ‘big data’ and how can we use it?

What is Big Data?

Big data is essentially extremely large volumes of data which a business is exposed to on a daily basis. This can vary from data on the customer’s demographic and geographical location, to the time of day which a query was logged — all useful information if used in the correct way. The amount of data isn’t the important part, it’s what businesses do with the data that matters.

How can big data be used in business?

Every single digital system in a business produces data that can be analysed and used to make more strategic decisions. Large multinational corporations rely on data to drive their business strategy, and without this information they wouldn’t be anywhere near as successful. According to an infographic produced by idbs.com, Amazon has a whopping 1.3 million servers to handle its data, and will make an estimated $10billion from Amazon web services this year alone. And it’s not just e-commerce businesses that benefit; pharma company, Merck & Co used big data to carry out billions of calculations to fix an issue with a vaccine, saving the company countless dollars.

It’s not just huge corporations that can benefit from big data. SMEs can also reap the rewards by harnessing the power of big data on a much smaller scale. It’s estimated that 3.2 billion people, or almost half the world’s population, will be online by the end of this year. Every single one of these people are unknowingly imparting personal information which can be collected by businesses, or third party organisations to then be sold. Browsing history, facebook likes, interests and purchase history are all combined to create a unique digital profile for each user. This can then be used by businesses to tailor their marketing strategy to be highly personalised, therefore increasing the chances of a conversion.

As well as effectively targeting consumers, big data is useful in a number of other areas; improving manufacturing efficiency, optimizing supply chain, and increasing product innovation. Streamlining these processes and effectively targeting your consumers will certainly improve an organisation’s bottom line.

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