By now, everyone has heard of Big Data and the wave it has created in the industry. After all, it’s always in the news – companies across various sectors of the industry are leveraging Big Data to promote data-driven decision making. Today, Big Data’s popularity has extended beyond the tech industry to include healthcare, education, governance, retail, manufacturing, BFSI, and supply chain management & logistics, to name a few. Almost every enterprise and organization, big or small, is already leveraging the benefits of Big Data.
According to Gartner, “Big Data are high volume, high velocity, and/or high-variety information assets that require new forms of processing to enable enhanced decision making, insight discovery, and process optimization.”
In essence, Big Data refers to datasets that are too large or complex for traditional data processing applications (for instance, ETL systems). It is characterized by three core features – high volume, high velocity, and high variety. Rapid development and adoption of disruptive technologies (AI, ML, IoT), rapidly-growing mobile data traffic, cloud computing traffic, and high penetration of smartphones, all contribute to creating an ever-increasing volume and complexity of large datasets.
Since the advantages of Big Data are numerous, companies are readily adopting Big Data technologies to reap the benefits of Big Data. Statista maintains that the global big data market will grow to $103 billion by 2027, with the software industry leading the Big Data market with a 45% share. While the global Big Data and Business Analytics market was valued at $169 billion in 2018, it is estimated to rise to $274 billion by 2022. In 2018, nearly 45% of professionals in the market research industry used big data analytics as a research method.
Advantages of Big Data
Big Data can help create pioneering breakthroughs for organizations that know how to use it correctly. Big Data solutions and Big Data Analytics can not only foster data-driven decision making, but they also empower your workforce in ways that add value to your business.
The benefits of Big Data Analytics and tools are –
- Data accumulation from multiple sources, including the Internet, social media platforms, online shopping sites, company databases, external third-party sources, etc.
- Real-time forecasting and monitoring of business as well as the market.
- Identify crucial points hidden within large datasets to influence business decisions.
- Promptly mitigate risks by optimizing complex decisions for unforeseen events and potential threats.
- Identify issues in systems and business processes in real-time.
- Unlock the true potential of data-driven marketing.
- Dig in customer data to create tailor-made products, services, offers, discounts, etc.
- Facilitate speedy delivery of products/services that meet and exceed client expectations.
- Diversify revenue streams to boost company profits and ROI.
- Respond to customer requests, grievances, and queries in real-time.
- Foster innovation of new business strategies, products, and services.
Now, we will expand on the most significant advantages of Big Data:
One of the most significant benefits of Big Data tools like Hadoop and Spark is that these offer cost advantages to businesses when it comes to storing, processing, and analyzing large amounts of data. Not just that, Big Data tools can also identify efficient and cost-savvy ways of doing business.
The logistics industry presents an excellent example to highlight the cost-reduction benefit of Big Data. Usually, the cost of product returns is 1.5 times greater that of actual shipping costs. Big Data Analytics allows companies to minimize product return costs by predicting the likelihood of product returns. They can estimate which products are most likely to be returned, thereby allowing companies to take suitable measures to reduce losses on returns.
Big Data tools can improve operational efficiency by leaps and bounds. By interacting with customers/clients and gaining their valuable feedback, Big Data tools can amass large amounts of useful customer data. This data can then be analyzed and interpreted to extract meaningful patterns hidden within (customer taste and preferences, pain points, buying behavior, etc.), which allows companies to create personalized products/services.
Big Data Analytics can identify and analyze the latest market trends, allowing you to keep pace with your competitors in the market. Another benefit of Big Data tools is that they can automate routine processes and tasks. This frees up the valuable time of human employees, which they can devote to tasks that require cognitive skills.
Foster competitive pricing
Big Data Analytics facilitates real-time monitoring of the market and your competitors. You can not only keep track of the past actions of your competitors but also see what strategies they are adopting now. Big Data Analytics offers real-time insights that allow you to –
- Calculate and measure the impact of price changes.
- Implement competitive positioning for maximizing company profits.
- Evaluate finances to get a clearer idea of the financial position of your business.
- Implement pricing strategies based on local customer demands, customer purchasing behavior, and competitive market patterns.
- Automate the pricing process of your business to maintain price consistency and eliminate manual errors.
Boost sales and retain customer loyalty
Big Data aims to gather and analyze vast volumes of customer data. The digital footprints that customers leave behind reveal a great deal about their preferences, needs, buying behavior, and much more. This customer data offers the scope to design tailor-made products and services to cater to the specific needs of individual customer segments. The higher the personalization quotient of a business, the more it will attract customers. Naturally, this will boost sales considerably.
Personalization and the quality of product/service also have a positive impact on customer loyalty. If you offer quality products at competitive prices along with personalized features/discounts, customers will keep coming back to you time and again.
Big Data Analytics and tools can dig into vast datasets to extract valuable insights, which can be transformed into actionable business strategies and decisions. These insights are the key to innovation.
The insights you gain can be used to tweak business strategies, develop new products/services (that can address specific problems of customers), improve marketing techniques, optimize customer service, improve employee productivity, and find radical ways to expand brand outreach.
Focus on the local environment
This is particularly relevant for small businesses that cater to the local market and its customers. Even if your business functions within a constrained setting, it is essential to understand your competitors, what they are offering, and the customers.
Big Data tools can scan and analyze the local market and offer insights that allow you to see the local trends associated with sellers and customers. Consequently, you can leverage such insights to gain a competitive edge in the local market by delivering highly personalized products/services within your niche, local environment.
Control and monitor online reputation
As an increasing number of businesses are shifting towards the online domain, it has become increasingly crucial for companies to check, monitor, and improve their online reputation. After all, what customers are saying about you on various online and social media platforms can affect how your potential customers will view your brand.
There are numerous Big Data tools explicitly designed for sentiment analysis. These tools help you surf the vast online sphere to find out and understand what people are saying about your products/services and your brand. When you are able to understand customer grievances, only then can you work to improve your services, which will ultimately improve your online reputation.
To conclude, Big Data has emerged as a highly powerful tool for businesses, irrespective of their size, and the industry they are a part of. The biggest advantage of Big Data is the fact that it opens up new possibilities for organizations. Improved operational efficiency, improved customer satisfaction, drive for innovation, and maximizing profits are only a few among the many, many benefits of Big Data. Despite the proven benefits of Big Data we’ve witnessed so far, it still holds numerous untapped possibilities that are waiting to be explored.
If you are curious to learn big data and get your hands dirty on your own big data projects, check out upGrad & BITS Pilani’s PG Certificate program in Big Data & Analytics.
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