Big data, cloud computing, AI and machine learning are all popular buzzwords these days. Nearly everyone is talking about these technologies and how they can be leveraged to provide benefits to a variety of companies.
In a general sense, big data can absolutely transform your business operations for the better. It feeds into a concept you should know well, called business intelligence. Through the technology, an endless supply of information is generated about your business, employees, customers, products and impact on the world at large.
This data, when used appropriately, is the end-all be-all for achieving ultimate success and improving sales. Before that can happen, however, raw data coming in must be analyzed, processed and converted into a more usable format.
How Big Data Becomes Actionable
There are two types of data that a business has at its disposal, one of which is less useful. The first type is raw data, which comes unstructured and in its original form. The second type is processed or organized data that is actionable and ready for use.
A major difference between raw data and usable data is that the latter provides a great deal of insight into whatever process, party or component you are studying. A huge swath of customer performance data, before being processed, might show something more generalized and simple — people like a certain product best, for example. However, diving in closer and analyzing the trends or patterns within datasets can reveal so much more.
Suddenly, you understand who it is that likes said product, why and what they’re using it for. Also, you can break your audience down into niche segments to better understand what they’re after. It’s even possible to see how they react after receiving your products or services, and how that affects their future relations with your company.
Closer to the real world. Companies or teams that use quotas and sales targets to measure performance can benefit greatly from data analytics. Target-setting is not the same as forecasting, so it’s vital you get the numbers right. By looking at existing data, you can more accurately choose these goals, honing the process over time to find the best marketers or salespeople.
Of course, these are just a few examples. There’s a lot more you can learn from the right data. The point is just that customer data and insights can help you understand your audience better, allowing for more accurate and informed decision-making. It also leads to a greater opportunity for success.
Some of the enhancements data analytics offers include:
- Segmented and accurate audience targeting
- Location-based analytics that relate to a particular place or region
- Dynamic pricing opportunities that take local events into account
- A reduction in customer churn, boosting retention and loyalty
- Enhanced customer relations through better understanding
- New business and upsell opportunities
- Guaranteed or successful marketing trends
Using Data to Unlock Opportunities
Spending on big data technologies had surpassed $57 billion by the end of 2017. By 2020, it is estimated that every person on Earth will generate 1.7 megabytes of data per second. That’s an insane amount of digital information being generated on a consistent basis.
It’s becoming more and more common for companies — across all industries — to leverage the kind of big data, cloud computing and AI platforms that offer huge returns in business intelligence. Digital information is constantly flowing, with or without your express attention. As people tap into local networks, apps, online experiences and digital platforms, these systems continue to collect a multitude of user data. It’s a byproduct of the digital age, and you can put all of it to use, provided you know how to understand it.
Since that information is already flowing, it’s equal parts easy and convenient to access and extract more insights from it — this is the ultimate goal of business intelligence.
How You Leverage the Data Is Crucial
It’s not about how much customer information and data you’re collecting, because today it will essentially be coming from everywhere. It’s especially helpful that people carry a smartphone on their person at all times, resulting in even more intel-gathering opportunities.
Instead, it’s all about how you process and leverage the data you have. You could be collecting huge swarms, but it’s not lucrative in the least if you don’t know how to put it to use. You’re just going to be wasting a lot of time and resources.
It’s not a question of whether or not data can transform industries, specifically modern business. It’s more the question of how. Learn to process and understand it efficiently and you’ll be well on your way to improved revenue and better customer experiences. Big data can — and will — transform sales in many ways, providing better opportunities for your employees and improved experiences for your customers.
Bio: Nathan Sykes is the editor of Finding an Outlet, a source for the latest in IT and business news and trends.