If you are unaware of the importance of Big Data in managing and running a business, you’re missing a key tactic to growth and success.
Big Data is very large data sets that are unable to be analysed by traditional data processing and analysing systems. Big Data reveals patterns, trends and associations that are often related to human behaviour and interactions.
‘You can’t manage, what you don’t measure’
-W. Edwards Deming and Peter Drucker
When you’re able to measure, you’re able to understand more about your business and in turn translate that knowledge into more informed decisions. And while businesses have been analysing data for years, the magnitude and power of Big Data is more in-depth than anything we’ve experienced before.
Big Data allows us to measure and, therefore, manage more accurately. It also allowed us to forecast better, make smarter decisions and more effectively target certain interventions, which have usually been decided by one’s gut or intuition than data.
The Difference between Analytics and Big Data
What’s the difference between analytics and Big Data you might think? While analytics and Big Data are related in that they both seek to gain intelligence through data and use that data to their advantage in their business, there are some key differentiating factors:
- Volume: The amount of data that crosses the internet every second is more than what was stored in the entire internet 20 years ago. Now, there are Petabytes of data in a single data set that can be analysed and used.
- Velocity: Speed of incoming data is often more important than volume, as speed determines how ahead you are of competitors.
- Variety: Big Data pulls together data from a variety of channels including messages, updates, and images posted to social networks; readings from sensors; GPS signals from cell phones, and more. Many of these channels are relativity new and constantly changing.
Interestingly, Big Data is formed of two types of data:
- Unstructured Data – not organised or easily interpreted by traditional databases. It is usually very text-heavy. For example, Metadata, Twitter tweets, and other social media posts.
- Multi-Structured Data – these data formats can be pulled from interactions between people and machines, such as web applications or social networks.
Why seek the help of Big Data to accelerate growth of your company?
Researching and understanding Big Data is important for a business – looking at what your company needs to better target your audience, how it can help elevate your business, how it can help in an area where human intuition and an analyst brain can’t.
Not using it when competitors are; could risk a competitor having more intel in your targeted areas, thus being able to track and change their internal business strategies based on the results.
It’s important to note that analysing the way forward for your business through Big data is not to override the human input in these decisions, but to support it by making a more data-driven decision. This will allow your company to be even more successful than with mere human ‘intuition’.
The combination of human insight and Big Data will provide the best results.