If you’ve been saying (and typing) the phrase “the problem with Big Data,” you’ve been looking at it all wrong. Sure, it may seem like a daunting task: harnessing, aggregating and organizing your data, then digging into mining + analysis. But don’t worry; there is plenty to love about Big Data.
So often we see new trends and they turn out to be basically nothing (remember Google Wave?). Big Data seems a little frightening (maybe because we’re capitalizing it as a proper noun all the time), but truly, it has the power to change your business. Don’t get caught up in the fact that it’s a hot topic and deem it a fad because leveraging insights from the information it provides can inform tons of business decisions.
Building a custom solution is simpler than it sounds. Essentially, you create a program that will aggregate all of your data into a database and then you are able to ask it questions. The right questions can yield amazing insights into your business. Perhaps you never knew that weather impacted your business, or traffic, or simply the day of the week. By combining disparate data sources, you save the time it takes to aggregate the information, which allows you to spend more time analyzing the fluctuations of your business.
Remember when I said that it improves your business? Well, we can begin with how it can change your marketing initiatives. For one, Big Data can provide insight about consumer behavior–and not just in relation to your business. Leveraging Big Data is about more than your customer’s purchase cycle. It’s about all the things that influence that purchase. Knowing how and why your customer makes a decision can drastically improve your marketing because you understand where your brand needs to be and what messaging is appropriate for your target audience.
It’s not only about marketing initiatives. Imagine knowing when your business will spike and what products (and at what margins) will cause the spike. Based on historical consumer trends and current demand, you can predict that. By utilizing Big Data to predict business trends, you can improve efficiency in practically every aspect of your business: staffing, pricing, inventory, etc.
And the number one thing we love about Big Data is…
Look at Big Data as an opportunity–for all the examples I have just listed and more. Essentially, Big Data is “big” because the uses for it are practically endless. For example: you can assess how well your business performs historically when it rains between 10am-2pm in June. Why you would want to know this, we’re not sure, but you could probably trend these exact variables over time. This kind of limitless knowledge is scary to some people, but we think it’s better to have more than less. In order to make sure you’re not getting lost in Big Data, create your goals for using it. How, specifically, do you want to improve your business and what questions can you “ask” of Big Data to assess historical performance in these areas. Stick to your goals and the opportunity for improvement will be limitless.
Want more on Big Data software? Discover and learn more about big data and BI software by exploring blog posts, whitepapers and more on our Business Intelligence resource page. For comparisons of the best business intelligence software, download Business-Software.com’s Top 10 Business Intelligence Software report.