More than 2.5 quintillion bytes of data is been generated by internet users each day!
Data is everywhere, but raw data is nothing! Thus, it needs to be processed, to offer value.
Gone are the days when we need to mine, organize and manage a large volume of diverse data, manually.
Big data has completely changed the game for every industry.
What is Big Data?
Big Data means a large mass of data which is accumulated through different channels.
Whether it is education, healthcare, manufacturing or marketing industry, Big Data has become a great source of information that has helped industries grow. It helps enterprises harness their data to recognize new business opportunities.
Marketers are now relying on information like never before to inform, test, and create their marketing strategies. These days every enterprise employs big data for insights leading to better conclusions and decisions. Big Data is simply not for keeps, it needs to be analysed for better solutions.
Having loads of data in your organization is one thing but being able to store it, examine it and envision it in real-time is completely a different game.
Let’s dig deeper into big data!
Big Data – What Does It Mean?
Big Data means an extremely large volume of structured, unstructured and complex data sets that normal computing techniques such as traditional data mining cannot process. It not only refers to the data but also mentions of several tools, techniques, and frameworks. A recent survey states that 80% of the data created in the world is unstructured! Big Data can exist in both forms – Structured and Unstructured. Structured data can easily be organized and analyzed into the database. On the contrary, unstructured data is very difficult to manage.
Big Data is characterized into 3Vs including volume of data, variety of data and velocity of data at which it is processed. Big Data refers to tremendous data! Such voluminous data arrives from different sources including customer databases, medical records, business transaction systems, mobile applications, internet clickstream logs, and social networks. This data, if managed and processed right, helps in many ways.
Do you know 97.2% of industries are investing in Big Data and AI?
Companies utilize Big Data to understand customers’ behavior, refine operations, create result-driven marketing campaigns on customer preferences, provide better customer services and increase conversion rate. Medical researchers tap into Big Data to identify disease risk factors.
Apart from this, the market research is the biggest impression of big data. A study in 2016 states that deep learning and predictive analytics help businesses to understand their customers more efficiently. This enables them improve on their marketing strategies, which leads to business growth.
Of course, Big Data can provide valuable insights of customers which can be utilized to refine advertising efforts, strategies and conversion rates. Brands and organizations that use Big Data, hold a plus point over those that ignore this massive data, which may transform the sales cycle.
Moreover, using Big Data enables organizations to become more customer-centric. Past and real-time data can be utilized to survey the purchase behavior of customers, and accordingly enables organizations to update and improve their advertising methodologies and become more receptive to customers’ wants and needs.
Merits of Big Data for Businesses
Today, the storage, accessibility and analysis of enormous amount of data has become much easier than what could be done, a decade ago. Companies can effectively collect and analyze over one million bits of data in no time.
1. Better Way to Understand Customers
Being able to see inside the minds of potential clients has been the fantasy of most of the marketing experts. Understanding what they are keen on, what grabs their eye, and their buying behaviour, is the best thing you can do, for your business growth.
Of course, we don’t have the superpower to read minds!
Thanks to Big Data, that helps marketers to understand customers in a better way.
An extremely large chunk of raw information that Big Data is, has become a problem now. To make out relevant information from this raw data, companies are hiring data scientists. These data experts analyze tremendous data integrated with marketing demographics and deduce the best way to advertise products.
Big Data calculates several factors including average purchase size, lifetime value, acquisition costs, retention costs, and customer’s happiness. This assists you in getting more information about your buyers.
2. Predicting Buying Behavior
Great customer experiences lead to greater conversions!
Imagine, you already know what your customer is going to buy at a specific time.
Of course, this will completely change the game of conversions.
With Big Data you can predict the buying behavior of your customer. It allows you to identify repeating patterns in customer’s behavior. Even many successful companies rely upon the insights they gain from big data.
3. Monitor Social Media
Discover what is being said about your business online by focusing on social media presence of your business. Major social media platforms are the ideal spots to access huge data sets of comments, reviews, and feedbacks about your organization. Social Media gives you a direct pipeline to your potential customer base. Big data enables marketers to identify social media trends and get insights, which can be used to create great strategies and make great engagement decisions.
Demerits of Big Data
Despite the great benefits of Big Data, it comes with challenges too!
1. Privacy and Security Concerns
One of the major drawbacks of Big Data, centres on rising concerns over privacy and security. Even huge business associations, like, Facebook and Yahoo have figured in various cases of the data breach. As data privacy and security laws are becoming stern like the General Data Protection Regulation of the European Union, industries utilizing Big Data source, need to invest more on business processes, protocols, data protection, and security risks.
2. Technical Challenges
Big Data requires great processing and technical capabilities.
Means, if an organization utilizes Big Data, they need to invest a lot on IT infrastructure solutions including large databases, processors and more. Additionally, they need to manage more issues including database management, data storage, data protection and validation which requires substantial investment.
3. Issue Over the Value of Big Data
No doubt, Big Data has become a problem now!
As mentioned already, resolving these challenges involves gigantic investment, and not every organization is capable to afford such huge costs. Big Data may only be beneficial for large organizations.
Ultimately, the effectiveness and value of Big Data depends upon how you utilize this enormous data.
Sachin Agrawal is an Enterprise Architect and heads up Business & Technology at Tarika Technologies. He carries expertise and a flair for writing on Management Consulting, Software & Analytics and Digital Media. Apart from distilling his technical ideas into creating innovative solutions, he is a practitioner of Haidong Gumdo and at his leisure, taps the Cajon and strums his Guitar! You can connect with him on LinkedIn.