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How to drive value from big data

Posted by on May 22, 2017

The data journey for businesses is ever-growing, with IDC forecasting a ten fold rise in worldwide data by 2025.

The data journey for businesses is ever-growing, with IDC forecasting a ten fold rise in worldwide data by 2025. When analysed properly, big data has potential to bring great value to a company by helping to make more informed business decisions, improve customer relations and increase productivity.

However, even with the term being integrated into our everyday vocabulary, organisations across the globe are not utilising the data they collect. In a recent study by Gartner, only 15 per cent of businesses reported actually using their big data project to enhance production. Most are still simply storing the data and never revisit it. This is not only ineffective, but also wastes time and money storing the unused information.

We know companies need to drive value from big data to ensure it helps, rather than hinders, efficiency and productivity. Here are three reminders to ensure you make the most out of big data:

  1. Strong platform

A strong data centre foundation is needed to support big data. Invest in a system that allows your data to be stored both securely and within easy access.

As well as this, ensure your data centre can provide you with predictive modelling. This process uses data probability to forecast outcomes, which allows flexibility for larger data flows and storage. You are then provided with the reassurance that your data centre can handle all the big data you will be sending through it and it will be able to predict when your company may need more or less data flow or storage.

Just think about key times that companies need to be aware of their data storage and management. A retail company may need to handle a lot more data during black Friday and thus its data centre needs to allow greater capacity for this larger flow.

  1. Clear vision: know what you want

You need to make sure you have a clear vision for what you want this data to do. There is no point collecting a mass amount of data and then being unsure as to how it can be used to your businesses advantage. Set out a clear picture of how the data can work for you, define what you hope to accomplish and work out how the data collected can be used to put you ahead of your competition.

  1. Clever analytics: make the data work for you

Make the data analytics a business priority. This is where businesses get caught out the most, without clear analysis of the data collected there is no way it can impact business productivity or efficiency. Having an ability to analyse key trends in the data will allow you to see how best to improve a companies performance and efficiency.

In order to gain this analytic insight you need to ensure you have a strong team of people who are up to the challenge of identifying and prioritising what types of insight are most critical to the business.

For example, movie rental companies can use data analytics to provide recommendations to their customers. This allows them to see what was viewed, when and on what device. 75 per cent of views on Netflix are now driven by these recommendations. It has used its data collection to ensure it is tailoring its product to the customer, resulting in, more often than not, increased efficiency and productivity within the business.

Overall you need the right people, tools and approach to ensure you are getting the most from your data. Perfect the vision, support the data within a strong platform and ensure the data is analysed in a way that will benefit the business performance. Big data can add endless value to a business as long as it’s organised and analysed in the correct way. Don’t spend time and money collecting data to just leave it sitting around. Utilise it and open your business to the extraordinary possibilities that big data analysis can bring.

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