Big Data is a big deal
It is as important as the internet. It empowers you to make better decisions. It is, without a doubt, the killer technology of our day and age. And it is becoming absolutely essential for any enterprise to build a data science capability. So what is the dope behind this word that everyone talks about?
What is Big Data?
Big data is limitless amounts of data – structured and unstructured. In today’s day and age, any transaction produces data – be it a credit card purchase or a cell phone package top-up or a “like” on Facebook. An instant can produce tons of data. And they come in various formats and varying degrees of complexity.
What can big data analytics do for you?
Once this data is stored, cleaned up and sorted, the possibilities of what you can do with it, is limitless. Bottom line, it can revolutionize your business and its operations. Every bit of data in an organization can be analysed – you can find out what process is working and what isn’t – and tweak it to make it more productive. You can get answers to your questions – quickly and accurately. You have all kinds of information about your customers. All your answers are backed by data. How powerful is that! And when data empowers your decision making, it results in a different level of success. It is possible to make predictions based on historical data. Most importantly it helps a business communicate the right message at the right time through the right medium to each of its customers. With the data that comes from mobile phones, businesses can spot opportunities to offer relevant services to customers – offers that are effective because of their relevance. Offers the customers simply cannot refuse!
On the other hand…
Some people have plunged into big data expecting miracles overnight. They expect their business problems to vanish. But the key is to remember that people, and not big data, solve problems. A clear strategy of what you are looking for from big data analytics, is needed. A lot of the data is ‘dirty’ – it is unstructured, fragmented, duplicate, and sometimes inaccurate. Only when it is cleaned up, can you work with it and ultimately trust the results of all your data queries. A lot of the data can be worthless – it is important to sift through the rubble to get at the bits of information that are truly priceless.
So while big data is truly big – and has within it the capability to revolutionize your enterprise or the business landscape itself as a whole, what matters is who works with it. It takes analytical skills, razor sharp thinking and a clear strategy to derive the right kind of ROI from the systems that work the data. Throw all these together into a pile of data, and that’s when the magic begins.