Big Data Shaping the Way Business is Done

Published by MBA Skool Team, Published on September 01, 2016

Can u imagine the amount of data generated all over the world while you were reading this sentence?

With every second that passes huge tonnes of data is being generated. Today the units of measuring this data include petabytes and exabytes. This data has to be maintained, managed, analyzed and stored. How to do to all this in least time? These unstoppable huge data sets are called Big Data. These are big pools of data which are scrutinized to find patterns and then make beneficial decisions. The leaders in every sector will anyhow deal with these databases to not only exist but also to excel. Using big data will have a huge impact on sustainability since it will be responsible for growth of various enterprises, will enhance efficiency and add to world economy. The organizations using big data are smart and are 36% more efficient in defeating their competitors in revenue and operations, according to a study.

Why do we need big data? There are three main characteristics that make it necessary to be able to manage all these databases- volume, velocity and variety. Every second even more data crosses the internet as compared to the total data that existed 20 years ago. Thus it is crucial for the companies to be able to handle the large volume with efficiency. Velocity is another important feature. Lots of apps and websites today require real time information to operate. Take an example of Harrah’s casino that uses real time data about a customer who is losing continuously so the information is analyzed right at the moment and it is decided that he is to be provided with a gift hamper so that he remains satisfied and does not abandon their Casino. Another example could be live analysis of crowd coming in and going out at a heavily trafficked square in a city. The applications could be numerous and very useful. Next comes the variety of data. Well there are a plethora of apps and websites which generate different kinds of data. It can be in the form of pictures, text messages, GPS signals or sensor readings.

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Customer relationship management is one major affected domain. In fact all businesses are dependent on effective customer relationship management only. The proper analysis of information can help it maintain better and provide outstanding results. The organizations are using it to understand customer habits and patterns. They track customer activities from various sites and their databases, for example the products that they searched online, the transactions they do, the type of offerings they prefer and so on. Yes there is too much to take but the payoff will be unimaginable.

The implementation of all technology does not mean that the requirement of human intelligence is overruled. The organizations that will lead, will be the ones where technology and human ability go hand in hand. Leaders should be able to envision future opportunities, implement their creativity, understand market growth causes and offer ideas.

With the advancement of data there is urgent requirement of efficient people who can work this all out. There is a prerequisite of mathematical, statistical, creative, communicative, problem-solving, and business skills. The new kind of data are unstructured and need skills and tools to get sorted out. So businesses should look for good talent as it will decide the preciseness with which enterprise will work.

Now to handle big data proper tools will be required as well. To gain an edge over others, the organizations will have to keep themselves updated with latest tools. These technologies are not extremely expensive and are mostly based on open source. Hadoop from Apache is one common technology that takes inputs in large amounts, distributes them and also provides tools. It performs both data processing and data storage.

This has entered depths of businesses and this high degree of penetration has reduced errors. Now the supply chains are continuously monitored and information about each stage of supply chain is available. A lot of external data helps in this case, what is the reputation of a particular supplier, what is the financial strength, whether delivery facilities are up to the mark, what are the risks that will follow etc. these are some facts we would be knowing beforehand.

Even the Competitive intelligence was a natural activity but with the advent of big data this is also changing. Now the quality of the strategic decisions depends on how intense the analysis was. Initially databases contained objective information about only about their locations, contacts, financial ratios etc. but now the data is subjective and denotes what these businesses are doing and how they are doing it. It’s now wider, more real time and expanded. Now important is to do the trend analysis, segment the customers, make business models and recommend ideas.

Pricing is another major parameter that is determined today by Big Data. What price to offer to their business and to the customer is determined based on previous trends and current competition. There are price optimizing tools that state what the best deal will be. A pricing software called PROS is used by many organizations. Consider an example of an oil industry. Here the price will be determined by analyzing competitor price, weather probabilities and customer demand.

Continuous experimentation, testing and implementation is crucial to progress. With time methods and technologies will become obsolete and need to be replaced. Big data will help to continuously keep on coming with new suggestions. Employing Agile approaches will save time and create efficiency by delivering faster.

Thus it can be seen that there is no way that we can avoid the competent use of Big Data in benefiting our future selves. The managers have to find out ways to excel by employing new technologies and keep getting better every day by reducing the drawbacks and loopholes that may arise with implementing newer tools. Efficient manpower and smart analysis will lead to better handling of 250 million posts per hour on Facebook and 100 million likes per hour on Instagram.

This article has been authored by Akanksha Rajput from IIM Raipur

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