Big Data for Business: The New Business Currency And What It Can Do for You
“Without big data, you are blind and deaf in the middle of a freeway”.
In an era when the world’s stock of information is measured in whopping billions of terabytes, far too many organizations do nothing with data goldmines sitting right under their nose. Most companies have no idea how to put the resource to work and use Big Data for business. Meanwhile, their nimbler and more data-savvy competitors are leveraging troves of consumer data to great effect and snatching customers away from their peers, gradually driving data laggards out of existence. So, if you still think Big Data isn’t for you, you might be missing the boat and hurting your business. However, making big data management and analytics your cornerstone strategy promises to generate a new wave of opportunity.
Front and center
In today’s ultra-competitive business landscape, for many forward-looking executives, big data and business intelligence are at the top of the strategic agenda. Data-driven companies are trying to seize the day and harness this new source to gain more perspective into their markets, better serve their clientele, drive smarter decision-making and leapfrog cut-throat competition. With vast customers’ digital footprint generated through social media, mobile experiences, customer transactions, business records and other building blocks of higher profits, Big Data is the name of the game. And you too can’t afford to stay behind the curve and lose both market share and momentum. Haven’t jumped on the Big Data bandwagon yet? Read on to get some clues about the advantages of Big Data for your venture!
So, what’s in it for you?
Big Data is a great many things! It tells you who your customers are, provides compelling insights into their expectations, preferences and buying habits and lets you target your audience more precisely, strengthen client bonds, monetize the data you have collected, or even affect the outcome of events as they are still unfolding. Whatever you would like to know about your consumers or rivals, the answers probably lie somewhere out there in an ocean of big data.
Drowning in data, thirsty for insights
Big Data is buzzy. The problem is, there’s just too much of it. And the data itself is totally useless unless refined into concise, usable information tailored to your business. The value of Big Data isn’t in simply amassing huge amounts of information, but in gleaning actionable money-making insights that can be translated into powerful business decisions. The emergence of big data applications brings game-changing capabilities to companies, allowing them to extract relevant information automatically, analyze previously untapped data and create thriving business models.
So, how can you manage the deluge of data, turn it into trusted insights and forge a strong Big Data environment? Luckily, there are some great ways to leverage Big Data for business development that can poise you for a competitive advantage. These are some of our favorites.
Discover Big Data’s Prediction Prowess
With Big Data, you can predict the future (rather than guessing at it) by studying the past. It’s done through the predictive analysis of likely scenarios of what might happen based on historical data. Spotting past behaviors and patterns allows you to foresee where things are headed, identify trends that are likely to dominate in the future and uncover new markets. It also makes it so much easier to work out what people want before they even ask for it, provide product recommendations, perform risk analysis and take preventive measures.
For instance, outdoor venues with attendance heavily dependent on variable weather conditions, have a hard time predicting the turnout and therefore staffing. Big Data allows them to better manage the impact of weather on business performance by parsing historical attendance records against regional climate data. Those insights help businesses to anticipate how many visitors will show up on peak days or weekends and adjust staffing.
A bunch of other industries have not been left untouched by the innovative applications of Big Data. It allows HR professionals to predict the company’s need for new talent as well as find and match the right people to the right jobs. Technology and manufacturing companies can receive data from devices in the field and thus prevent hardware failures. With smart big data management, restaurant chains are able to determine the success rate for their new locations. Hotels can now adjust room rates based on seasonal trends, holidays and local events. And hypermarkets can expect increase in demand for certain products and inform stocking decisions.
Unlock The Power of Social Media
It’s called social listening, and it’s a safe bet! Are consumers talking to your business through social media channels? How do those folks feel about your brand? What are they saying about competitors? As a smart business owner, you will want to scan social media feeds and keep tabs on who is saying what about your company. This will give you an opportunity to engage with your customers, show you listen and you care, right the wrong before it goes viral, or even turn an angry detractor into a brand superfan. You will also see what people love about your product or service and do more of what they love.
Customer sentiment analysis is easy with Big Data tools, such as Radian6, Adobe Marketing Cloud or Social Mention. They allow companies to analyze unstructured text from social media to have a better understanding of how customers perceive your services and products. So, if you want to monitor and improve your online reputation, minimize customer churn, evaluate your performance and generate ideas for improving your brand, Big Data analytics hold the key.
Re-develop Your Product
Big Data can help you capture preferences of consumers and prospects, spot holes customers are demanding to be filled, generate fresh ideas and put them to work to breathe new life into your business.
You probably already have a great product that fills its market niche and sells itself. However, Big Data can tell you how redevelopment of the product or simply making minor adjustments to it could affect its performance, cost or popularity. This can take many forms, be it the creation of a more personalized product with some slight changes that will make your customers love your brand even more, or the new product launch, if people are using it in a way it wasn’t meant to be, you devise a new one exactly for that use. Remember the good old FarmVille? Did you know that in the early version of the game, animals served merely as decorations? Players, however, were interacting with them more than the game makers had expected, which prompted game artists to turn animals into active participants in the next generation of games.
In addition, rather than conducting a full-scale market research, Big Data allows you to test numerous product design variations to see which is more popular with your audience. Say, putting two different versions of a game character in the computer game or scouring websites, forums and social media to get an idea of what consumers are saying about your product variations can help you make further decisions.
Explore Trends on Google
Google is the Big Data behemoth that makes the world’s information accessible to everyone. One of the easiest ways to get ahead of the game and see Big Data in action is by monitoring its free tool Google Trends. It scours Google’s data banks, identifies the most popular topics related to a specific keyword and tells you how often it is entered relative to the total number of searches. Let’s say, you sell vegetables. You type ‘veggie’ into Google Trends and find that people search for ‘Veggie Tales’ a lot. With this insight, you could create fun content with vegetable animation.
Know Your Customers
Knowing your consumers is the hot ticket to keeping them happy and loyal. By analyzing big data, you can get a handle on reactions of customers to your brand, quickly adapt to their wants and needs, increase customer satisfaction, build lasting client relationships and fend off competition.
Ask yourself this: Are you paying attention to your customers’ pain points? Are you eliminating them and creating better experiences? You’d better be. A good example of how Big Data can help remove customers’ concerns and lead to greater brand loyalty is Delta. With their baggage tracking app powered by big data, passengers can now keep track of their luggage and make sure it will make it to the final destination.
With effective big data management, you can develop ‘an eye for patterns’ and offer your consumers a more personalized touch. Looking at the customer’s buying and browsing history can help companies build their recommendation engines and stay ahead of the competition with the best pricing offers. You can also identify those who would be most likely to buy your products or services and determine the most optimal times to present offers to clients. Just imagine being an avid surfer and receiving an invitation to the Surfing Festival to be held exactly when the tide is high. Would that click with you?
Get People Excited About Their Own Data
People get hooked on their own personal data! That’s a fact! Give them their day’s stats from how many calories they have consumed, steps walked or runs slalomed to how much money they have spent and where it went – and they will keep coming back, logging in or using the product again and again. Taking meaningful data to people equals creating brand loyalists.
Big Data for business: is it for you?
Love it or hate it, Big Data has become indispensable to enterprises today and is setting new standards for success. What’s more, using Big Data in business is not just a matter of success but rather of survival. Can you afford to wait until someone else beats you to the punch? Get the ball rolling. Your bottom line will thank you.