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Big data refers to the large-scale collecting and analysisof data and is something that is becoming increasingly common throughout the business world. Collecting vast amounts of data is only half the story though. It is the other half of the equation, the analysis of the data (known as data analytics) that converts that data into a more useful andmarketable form. Data looks set to play an important part in the future of businesses across a broad range of industries, from the largest enterprises to new start-ups.
Data as An Asset
Any business can generate data. In fact, all businesses are generating data, whether they realize it or are actively collecting it. Every visitor to a business’s website or social media profile is providing new data to the business and savvy entrepreneurs can find ways to exploit this. Developing a strategy for gathering and analyzing data is a worthwhile exercise for any business, regardless of size, although remember that there you will have legal obligations to protect customers’ data and avoid it falling intounauthorized hands. This situation has created a market where larger businesses sell their more extensive data records to smaller businesses who aren’t able to gather the same volume of data for themselves. Smaller companies also sometimes exchange, trade, or sell data to one another.
One of the most immediate and potentially lucrative implementations of a big data strategy is to augment an existing marketing strategy or develop a new one entirely. Big data allows businesses to track a user’s habits and gain an otherwise unattainable understanding of their behavior,both as a group and as individuals. Targeted, or micro, marketing is becoming increasingly common and is a form of marketing entirely dependent on personal data collected about an individual. Targeted marketing considers a user’s previously expressed preferences, likes, and dislikes to predict what offers and products will be of interest to them.
Recording data about individual and group performance can help you identify areas where your business isn’t making the most of the opportunities it has. Consider what metrics you can use to measure performance at your company and how you can measure these, then you can set about the task of gathering the necessary data and analyzing it to identify areas for improvement. The process of analyzing data and drawing conclusions from it is called ‘data analytics’. SelectHub has a comparison of some of the best options for data analytic software. Another option is to employ the services of a specialized data analytics firm who will be able to advise you on the gathering of data, as well as the analytical side of things.
From the increasingly ubiquitous cloud services that many businesses rely on to allow employees to work remotely, to in-house monitoring and analytical software, big data is becoming an increasingly common and important consideration for serious entrepreneurs at all levels. The opportunities to improve performance and drive up profits should be irresistible to any self-respecting manager.