Data is the new currency in today’s data-driven economy. And, to stay relevant in this landscape, businesses are fast becoming ‘digital’. Add to this the inter-connected smart devices, technologies such as the Internet of Things, growing use of internet, increasing penetration of smartphones, and social media; and, we are talking about an explosion in data. Just to give a glimpse of the amount of data created each day, consider this: 300 million plus photos uploaded on Facebook, 4,146,600 YouTube videos watched, 156 million emails, 16 million text messages every minute, 18,055,556 forecast requests to weather channels, and many many more avenues are contributing to this data explosion.
Big Data for Big Business
What does availability of all this data – big data – mean to businesses? For one, it means businesses have an effective means to improve their business strategy and offer better, personalized services to their customers. For instance, retailers can analyze customer data to understand shopping patterns and suggest products according to the customer’s choice.
Law enforcement agencies can unearth patterns from disparate data sources, correlate these patterns to understand criminal behaviours and take proactive steps to prevent crime. The construction industry can crunch big data to lower project costs and enhance safety of their workforce. Then there are hospitality, healthcare, manufacturing, online payments, and many more industries that can efficiently harness data to improve their services.
Hurdles on the Way
In order to gain actionable insights, businesses must efficiently harness data. But, big data is really big, unstructured, siloed, and scattered across departments and business units. Therefore, businesses are facing a huge challenge when it comes to handling and processing big data. Another challenge, they face is protecting data from possible data breaches that can expose personal details of customers to hackers. In view of the General Data Protection Regulation, businesses are obliged to ensure security of the data they possess.
The Last Word
Despite all the challenges, businesses need the power of data-driven insights to grow their business in this highly competitive, cognitive world. Businesses must, therefore, build a holistic strategy that enables them to benefit from big data and succeed in this data-first world while successfully overcoming the challenges on the way.
The Article has been Written by Neetu Katyal, Content and Marketing Consultant
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