Big Data: Changing the Way We Do Business

Thanks to technological advances, and consumers’ willingness to share content they create and/or come across along with personal information, huge volumes of data are being captured at speeds that are dizzying, from a variety of sources that is ever-increasing.

These increasingly in-depth insights not only herald an era of new business opportunities, but are creating a fundamental shift in the way we interact with customers, employees and other stakeholders as well as how we exchange information and share knowledge.

The very real and meaningful ways, Big Data is changing the way we do business.

On the plus side, this means enables us as business leaders to…

  • Improve operational efficiencies and better determine whether or not to adopt new technologies or consider unconventional resources
  • Identify evolving consumer needs and desires
  • Create products and services that are still relevant when launched
  • Create new categories of product offerings
  • Predict customer behaviours that result in churn
  • Increase the return on capital cost investments
  • Create self-regulating processes that improve performances while mitigating risks associated with human error
  • Reduce waste while improving profitability along with the quality of products and services
  • Increase productivity while improving employee engagement
  • Customize the way we serve our clients to the highly-personalized standards that are coming to be expected..Etc.

On the flip side, too much data can create data and storage overload-related problems. To remain competitive, indeed to be successful, in these changing times, leaders must learn to…

  • Determine what data should be tracked and why
  • Integrate new data streams into existing channels
  • Organize massive quantities of data and appropriate access to it
  • Synthesize the knowledge from these multiple sources and assess its impact on the industry overall and the business in particular
  • Protectintellectual property, financial data and client information against cyber intrusions

In short, learning how to use Big Data to advantage will enable companies to gain critical competitive advantages and so outperform their category peers.At CBSC we have experts who can help you with this task, while helping to assess how technology can be used to improve your operations in other areas, too.

But what is Big Data?

Some tech savvy specialists are saying that “Big Data” is a buzzword whose time has passed. Most business owners, however,are still trying to make sense of it all.

In essence, “Big Data” refers to all the data that organizations have at their disposal. This includes:

  • All internal documents (archives, sales data, scanned documents, CRM data, information that is been shared between organizations and between organizations and their customers, emails,etc.),
  • Feedback from sensors and other machine-to-machine interactions, and
  • Pretty much anything that’s in the public domain, including census data and other published government records, articles and other information available anywhere on the web.

This also encompasses what is being referred to as “unstructured data” and includes: Social media, business and consumer apps, sensor data (medical devices, geo-tracking, smart machine feedback, etc.) and all other media (images, videos, podcasts, etc.)

When you consider that every minute 2.5 million shares occur on Facebook, 72 hours of videos are being uploaded to YouTube, 200 million emails are being sent – and think about everything that’s happening on Pinterest, Instagram and dozens of other social media platforms - it’s no wonder that corporate leaders are grappling with what to capture, what to use and how.

At the turn-of-the-century we were looking at the three V’s of big data: Volume, velocity and variety (Doug Laney, Gartner).

Today we also have to take into account that there will be variable peaks in our data flows from various sources (think topics that are trending), systems crashing from the load and confusion reining in industries that cannot determine what to use, or how.

According to IBM estimates, every day 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are being created – and the rate of data creation and replication is increasing at an exponential rate. In fact, reports suggest that over 90% of the world’s total data has been created and the past two years – and that by 2020, worldwide digital data being stored will grow from today’s 7 zettabytes to over 35 ZB.

The old analogy of an ant trying to drink from a fire hose comes to mind.

How We Can Help

The common buzzword right now: “Nowcasting”. It’s using real-time and high-frequency data to create metrics to estimate consumer confidence in a new product or service and test theories as well as to conduct financial modelling at levels previously not possible, helping companies to reduce the risk across the board.

CBSC experts are well-versed in how to obtain and use the right data for specific situations, for specific clients so that their “nowcasting” is on the money, in every sense of the phrase.

We can help you build the right models to depict the relationship between various data sets so that you can make solid decisions on behalf of your company.

We can also identify what data you will need, and how to get it in a timely and cost-effective manner.