For most who know little about data, the phrase ‘Big Data’ sounds a little intimidating and difficult to understand. Is it talking about the size of the data, the amount of space needed to storage the data, the amount of data you have; In reality it’s all three and more, but did you know this term Big Data could actually hold the key to help unlock opportunities for your organisation.
Many think, due to its name that only larger companies hold ‘Big Data’; but that isn’t the case and in fact most organisations big or small generate massive amounts of data (stored on databases such as SQL Server) that when used correctly will be able to give insight into new markets and trends.
So what are the main areas that companies should be on the lookout for?
Your customers are your best friends
Collecting data allows for companies to better know and understand their customers. By studying the data collected; what, where, when and how they buy, or even the products that they don’t buy allows businesses to plot together consumer behaviour research, thus better meeting the consumer’s needs.
Imagine your local supermarket, you sign up for a loyalty card and continually scan it every time you do your weekly shop; the supermarket has now started to collect data about your grocery shopping and is storing this to build a consumer persona. How many eggs you buy 6 or 12. How often you go in to buy milk, bread, washing up liquid. This data is then analysed and used by the supermarket to entice you in, sending you vouchers/ offers for products or services that they know that you regularly purchase. If you were to buy a tin of beans every Friday evening for your Saturday morning breakfast, the supermarket will know this and send you a 2 for 1 voucher for beans. The data has brought you back into the store where you will now spend more with them.
Understanding your consumer, what they want and when they want it can be found within the data collected by your organisation. Utilising this information is the key to successfully using data to drive consumer buying.
Unlocking insight from within
Like within most organisations, employees are being stretched to go above and beyond; they need to be able to do more with less; thus it being critical that they understand the patterns within the data to provide insight into what is working for the company and what isn’t. With there being a wide selection of data analytics tools out there, all organisations big or small can begin to use their collected data quickly and effectively to ensure internal processes, marketing campaigns and business solutions create a difference to their objectives and goals are met within the organisation.
Gaining this type of insight allows for better internal processing, saving money and time when going out to current clients or potential customers. Having this creates a positive reputation and perception for your organisation, if you deliver exactly what your customer wants without them telling you it’s a big win.
Innovation though data
However, companies who are using data to purely service the clients of today aren’t doing enough; forward thinking and innovation is key to success for any organisation. Being able to see what consumers have historically bought, using this data to first predict what they then want/ need allows for scope to see what new products or services they could create to meet consumer demand. This allows for innovation and new opportunities to arise from very little resource or time investment.
The question is how can companies find opportunities from this Big Data? A common option, and a very good one at that, is using Microsoft’s Database platform SQL Server; the tools within it allow users to analyse the data with graphical, interactive dashboards within minutes of receiving the data. SQL Server was created to be used either on premise, in the cloud or as a hybrid model; thus giving users the option to perform very high levels of data analytics and present this information with visual and data rich content.
The data that you have collected over the years can be used to make significant changes to your business processes and products. Instead of being scared of Big data, make it your new best friend; couple it with dsp'd SQL Server Managed Services and grow your business through opportunity and drive innovation.