How Big Data Can Change Your Business and How to Let It

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Big data is no longer just a big word used in the big business world. In fact, big data is sparking a revolution among how companies conduct their businesses. For companies that are still on the fence about whether or not to invest in big data tools, here are some ways that big data can change your business.

In today’s shopping world, consumers demand a unique, personalized, and all-about-me experience. Big data is one of the best ways to dive into the heart and soul of each customer or client and cater perfectly to their whims and fancies. With big data, you can profile every single one of your customers giving you the chance to engage in an almost one-on-one way. This is done by collecting vast amounts (BIG data) of information on shopping habits, demographics, apps most often used, websites most often visited, and online behaviors for each individual. Big data tools can then profile each person giving you a real-time glance and relevant services or products that he or she might be interested in. Big data can also merge the separate worlds of physical and digital shopping, allowing retailers the chance to suggest offers based off of a consumer’s indication of a need via social media.

Big data is also changing the way a business interacts with its customers through actual brick and mortar stores. With access to biometrics, beacons, and video, businesses can track customer behaviors in-store—where they head to first, where they linger. They can even track reactions through facial recognition software and gauge the success or failure of a display or product. Acquiring all of this information at once requires the use and implementation of big data and big data software. With the help of big data tools, businesses can use video analytics to process immense amounts of video, faces, reactions, days, hours, everything all at once, spanned over a long amount of time.

Additionally, big data offers other forms of tools such as risk analysis. Predictive analysis can help analyze social and economic factors within your industry to get you up to date on real-time developments. Big data can also offer an extra level of security on all of your data. With specific tools, you can use big data to scan and analyze internal threats. You can also detect sensitive information that is unprotected, allowing you to catch it and store it accordingly. For example, you can use analytics to flag any situation where a 16-digit number (potential credit card information) is emailed out or stored. This flagging will give you the chance to investigate a potential breach.

Among other things, big data can reduce maintenance costs by analyzing and predicting equipment use and failure and help you stay on top of equipment maintenance. Big data can also offer enterprise-wide insights. Rather than relying solely upon your IT department to collect and analyze data, business intellects are now able to snatch up analysis and reports much quicker with the use of big data. IT departments can do the groundwork, install repeatable algorithms and then use big data tools to develop visualization tools that BI’s can access in real-time without having to wait for someone to analyze the data themselves.

The best way to get started with collecting big data is deciding just what areas big data will be used for. Include uses connected to metrics and business outcomes. Secondly, decide who will be heading this new team. You will need to combine people from the business and IT sides of the organization. After this you can decide just what tools and infrastructure are going to work best for your uses and business. And don’t forget the architecture for your big data. There are many options out there including Hadoop, Cloudera, MongoDB, and Talend. As you move forward with your move into big data, be sure to do a little research as to what will be best for you company and also be sure to include your IT team as they will be doing a lot of the groundwork.

Linda_GimmesonContributed by: Linda Gimmeson, a tech writer with a focus in big data, machine learning, & IoT. Linda discusses big data, emerging technologies, and how companies can get real value out of their data.

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