Big Data analytics and AI are no longer something that companies can voluntarily choose to forgo. Big Data is the future, and unless companies jump on the bandwagon, they will quickly be made redundant by their competitors who are using data effectively. Although most companies know that change is essential, they don’t have the technical capacity to implement the necessary changes. You don’t have to be a large company to benefit from Big Data processes. Small to medium enterprises could see the most considerable benefits since they have the most growth potential.
Regardless of your business or your industry’s size, if you’re not leveraging the data and insights you have access to, you are missing out on some substantial earning potential. You need to understand your audience and their needs so you can tailor your product development, sales, and marketing accordingly. That said, you might have vast banks of data, but unless you know how to analyze them properly, then they won’t be useful to you or your business.
What is Big Data?
Big Data, in a nutshell, is a collection of tools and processes that allow you to manage all your streams of data. The term “Big Data” was coined in 2005, although organizations have been tapping into data streams much longer than that. It came about as a way to glean insight from large banks of data, which are too big to be analyzed by humans but contain a ton of valuable information.
Big Data can find patterns and identify trends within data sets, and organizations can use these analytics for product/service development and experience creation. That said, you need to have someone on board who is an expert in Big Data to benefit from it. Ideally, they will have an MBA in Business Intelligence, enabling them to identify which data is beneficial and which is irrelevant; you can find out more about this degree here.
Big Data will give you a competitive advantage
If you want to stand a chance against your competitors, you need to use Big Data strategies. Using data for innovation will allow you to outperform competitors in almost any industry. A competitive advantage is necessary for your business to succeed in a market that continues to become more saturated with new businesses. Stagnation will kill your business, and continuous growth based on statistics is the only way to become and stay successful.
Big Data showcases growth opportunities that your business may not have considered. You have to give your customers an audience what they want, and the only way to know what they want is through data. Big Data is so advanced that it can even help you predict and estimate future metrics to model your strategy accordingly.
Big Data can contribute to success and benefit your business in many different ways. Here are five ways that it can do so.
- Product development
You might sell one product or service and do well, but if your product never changes, it will eventually become outdated. As time goes on, people change, and the things that people want change as well. Your product may have flown off the shelves last year, but your customers are looking for something new this year. Alternatively, maybe your product was selling, but you’re receiving lots of returns or negative comments, and now you’re not selling as much.
Continuous product development is essential if you’re business is to survive long-term.
Developing products based on a hunch or what you think your target audience might want, is a waste of time, resources, and money. Instead, Big Data can help you understand what your customers like and dislike about your product to make the proper developmental changes based on their feedback. You will also have access to geographical and demographic data to show you how your product resonates with different groups.
- Customer service
Good customer service can often be more important than a good product. If your customer service procedures are less than efficient, then it won’t take long for your business to get a bad reputation. A bad reputation negatively impacts your business, even if you have a fantastic product. One of the most common ways that Big Data is benefiting businesses’ customer service systems is through chatbots. You’ve likely come across chatbots, as many companies have already implemented them. They allow businesses to provide 24/7 service to their customers without hiring extra staff or allocating any additional budget.
When customers have a question, they want an answer now, not 48 hours later. If your customer service team can’t keep up with queries, emails, and phone calls, customers will get frustrated and may end up boycotting your brand entirely. Even worse, they might leave a bad review, which could contribute to even more losses. Chatbots can answer 80% of standard questions, meaning that your customer service team only has to answer 20%. That volume is much easier to keep on top of.
Beyond chatbots, Big Data can provide insight into which product features your customers like, and which you can get rid of. You can collect data via digital polls, surveys, and other tracking technologies that would be impossible for humans to analyze, but not for computers.
Consumers want to receive personalized content from the businesses and brands they like. Sending out blanket emails to everyone on your email list or running the same Facebook ad to everyone will only frustrate your customers. No one wants to be directly sold to; they want to see things that are of interest to them specifically. Consumers expect personalization, and if you’re sending irrelevant content to people, they will associate your business with spam.
Big Data can help businesses to personalize their marketing campaigns and target the audience they are relevant to. Instead of solely reaching as many people as possible, companies recognize the value in micro-targeting the right people at the right time.
Knowing precisely the right moment to showcase your products to potential buyers with highly targeted marketing will give you higher success rates than mass marketing efforts to everyone at once. Being able to plug valuable data into your CRM software will create multiple ways to engage with your customers in a more direct and personal way, building trust, and increasing customer loyalty.
- Boost security
Cybercrime is at an all-time high, with hackers attacking every 39 seconds, on average. That’s 2,244 attacks per day. The number of online transactions continues to rise, with 1.8 billion people worldwide purchasing goods online, giving hackers tons of opportunities to get their hands on consumer bank details. On top of that, cybercriminals are bringing down entire organizations with malware and ransomware. Suffering a data breach and losing all your customer data can be devastating for businesses. Big Data is one of the best systems to analyze potential internal threats to your business. Using data analysis, you can identify where your security systems are weak and work to patch the holes before a hacker exploits them.
It is especially important if your business is dealing with sensitive financial data, such as credit card and debit card details. You can also leverage new technologies to provide a higher level of protection for your data, such as facial recognition software, automation, speech recognition, and more.
- Human resources and hiring
Businesses spend tons of time and resources when hiring new employees. It can be a tedious process to find qualified individuals who have the necessary skillset and certifications that you require. Even if you build a list of candidates who look eligible on paper, there are other considerations beyond just what’s on their resume. You want to check out their social media feeds, where they live and run background checks to ensure they are the right candidate for the position you need to fill.
Using AI systems based on Big Data is a cohesive and automated way to assess potential candidates for all your criteria. You won’t even see those who don’t fit the exact specifications that you want. It can streamline your recruitment and hiring process, meaning that only fully qualified people make it through to the interview process. AI HR systems can evaluate factors like experience, education, previous job titles, geography, social media, and even run background checks for you. Using Big Data is immensely beneficial for every business’s human resources department, allowing them only to invest their time in worthwhile prospects.
It’s no secret that Big Data is here to stay, and its role in business practices will only continue to grow. To future-proof your business, you need to leverage the extremely valuable data that you have access to and use it to optimize your business in every way. Every area and department of your business can benefit from using Big Data if you know how to use it effectively. It’s worth the investment in a business intelligence expert who can show you how to gain the most valuable insights from your data, and implement them across your business for positive outcomes.