Analytics has been around for decades, and companies have long known the benefits of business data, but today’s business environment and powerful new cloud-based big data analytics tools have moved data analytics a long way up the ladder in terms of importance.
Until recently, data was utilized for point solutions in narrow and limited ways, but the improved speed and efficiency of big data analytics means that data can – and should – be applied on an enterprise level. Today’s data doesn’t just answer your questions, it shapes the entire discourse.
As our lives have increasingly moved online, the amount of relevant data that businesses can gather about customer preferences, buying patterns, and thought processes has grown exponentially.
Social media usage, in particular, exploded over the last few years, with 51% of the world’s population, or 3.96 billion people, now on social media. In the US, social media penetration is at 70%. When you use social media data properly, it’s more than an audience nurture channel – it’s your guide to emerging trends, brand reputation and fast-changing crowd values.
If anyone had any doubts about the value of big data analytics, the arrival of COVID-19 should have wiped them all away. Now that organizations are working remotely, how do you measure employee productivity or engagement without working the data? The only way to track customer satisfaction too is through app and social media data. The coronavirus pandemic also revealed the crucial need for accurate supply chain data, so that you can act quickly before a country locks down its ports or closes all its factories.
You might have been able to get away with ignoring big data analytics up until now, but 2020 was the year that the penny dropped. Big companies and your competition are already on board. If you don’t join them, you’ll be left out of opportunities and left behind as the market grows.
Big data comes from multiple directions
Today’s businesses rely on datasets from a growing number of sources, and these need to be gathered together in a single location so that you can compare them and understand them. COVID-19 drove digital transformation faster than anyone had thought possible, so now your data is global.
It’s not just bigger than ever, it’s also stored on more diffuse platforms, each with its own formatting standards or lack thereof, making it challenging to overcome silos to see the big picture.
Data quality becomes more of an issue when data comes in from so many places. Today you may be more likely than in the past to turn to third-party data, and you can’t take it for granted that the quality will be sufficient. When data is drawn from multiple sources, it needs to be aggregated and have the noise removed before you can tap into its value.
Big data analytics help you to qualify and process that data so that you can benefit from it without being led astray by any flaws.
Complex data requires an advanced platform
Data has grown in both size and complexity. IoT opened the floodgates; app and social media usage skyrocketed; and the resulting datasets are far too big for any legacy data analysis system to cope with.
Social media in particular is the source of large and complicated datasets that include semi-structured and unstructured data such as videos, likes, shares, and comments.
It’s far more time-consuming and challenging to process and analyze, but with the help of big data cloud-based analytics, it delivers highly valuable insights into customer preferences.
When disaster strikes, only data can save you
In a disaster, you need to make rapid and confident decisions about the future of your business. That’s only possible if your decision-making is based on data, not guesswork, and if that data is timely enough to give you an accurate picture of your business and customers today, not six months ago.
The COVID-19 pandemic revealed just how much of an edge big data can provide. Companies that can stay on top of their data have been able to keep track of supply chains, remain agile to respond quickly to rapid market changes, and understand fluctuations in consumer demands.
The internet knows no borders. With so many businesses forced to go digital by the coronavirus, you’re suddenly competing against the entire world, not just your neighborhood. Now more than ever, you need to act fast to seize business opportunities, and it’s data that powers the early bird.
An efficient organization rests on effective data
Big data analytics drives better business processes and helps you identify cost efficiencies. Many companies are still relying on systems and hierarchies have worked for years, but aren’t suitable for today’s fast-paced, digital, global business world.
If you wait until your out-of-date organizational methods become obvious, it’s going to be too late to fix it.
Data-driven solutions improve the entire enterprise, not just some elements. In manufacturing and infrastructure, big data is crucial for reducing risk by analyzing IoT data from equipment and processes. Cybersecurity applies big data analytics to spot the earliest indications of hacking attempts, improve threat prediction, and mitigate risk.
Excellent customer service demands excellence in data
Today’s customers are low on patience and high on demands. They want you to hear unspoken needs, respond immediately to each inquiry, and meet them on every platform and channel.
Data helps make your company more customer-centric, helping you understand your customers more deeply and deliver better customer service.
With big data analytics, you can comb social media and app data to forecast demand and develop the new products and services that your customers don’t even know they need yet, enabling you to lead the market instead of running along behind trying to catch up.
Big data analytics is your key to survival as well as success
With the help of big data analytics, you can bring together complex data from multiple sources to quickly and easily tap into valuable insights into your customers’ demands, remain agile in responding to market conditions, and improve your organizational efficiency. Without this tool in your toolbox, you’ll be left in the dark playing guessing games with your business’ future.