Big data. It’s a pretty broad term, but it’s used to describe data sets that are so big or complex that in order to get the most value out of them companies need to use enhanced data applications; and more importantly know how to manage all of the information.
When it comes to big data, it’s not so much about how much you have, but more about what you can do with it. Managing this data means creating a structure that can store, process, and organize large volumes of structured and unstructured data.
For example, a typical bank offers its customers multiple products; a mortgage, car loan, checking account, saving account, credit line, etc. In today’s economy customers also conduct transactions online and via mobile devices, and provide feedback on services via social media. Should all that data be stored in different places? No, but banks and other firms are starting to recognize that having all that relevant data stored in one place can provide a wealth of insights about their customers, which is critical to better serving their customers and offering them customized products that makes sense. Having that data in one place will enable efficient data management control and a single-client view.
Regardless of the size of your company or the data being brought in, big data can provide a whole new way of approaching big decisions.
A consumer-oriented company can use big data to listen to, learn from, and leverage consumer feedback to produce targeted B-to-C campaigns. All of the feedback collected from social media and surveys allows a company to build and update consumer profiles and then execute personalized marketing and advertising campaigns.
Insight-driven organizations (IDO) need data to drive decisions. A lot of the time, though, there is so much data these organizations don’t even know where to start. It can be a very long journey to take big data and turn it into insight-driven material. As an IDO you need to figure out what insights will be most impactful with your clients. Then you need to know if you have the right data and analytics to create these insights, and if not, how do you go about getting that information? Once those insights are available how do you create a strategy to implement them in day-to-day decisions making?
Regardless of who is using big data or how it’s being used, there are always concerns about security. Most companies don’t have the infrastructure to store big data on their own IT networks, which means they are either going to be using the Cloud or a third party storage. Transferring data out doesn’t mean to companies transfer their liability. With data coming in from all avenues; social media, emails, files, etc., there are more entry points that need to be protected as along with external access points where the data is being housed.
Finding the most accurate and secure way to use big data will lead to better decision making - which will result in more efficient operations, reducing costs, and reducing risks.