Guest post by Ashley Lipman
Big data brings big benefits. In fact, it’s one of the biggest assets any company could have today. It’s not just about collecting customer info or knowing how to use numbers to your advantage. It’s about anticipating trends, customer needs, and changes before they occur. Essentially, it puts you on the forefront of the latest and greatest things.
However, despite just how influential big data can be, many businesses are failing to use it at all. Or, if they are using it, they’re not using it to its full advantage. There’s a misperception that big data is only for big businesses. This is far from the truth. Big data is just a term that describes any large volume of data that’s used in a business every day. The important part here is that this data can be analyzed to make smarter decisions.
All businesses both big and small can benefit from big data. This data isn’t limited to any industry either, though we commonly hear how it’s used in tech. Frankly, if you’re trying to make your business work in this competitive age, you need big data.
A Brief History of Big Data
First, let’s take a closer look at how big data got started. The term itself is new, but big data has been around for a long while. In fact, big data has been used in the United States for over a century. It all started during the U.S. Census of 1880 which required so much time to process that it would supposedly take over 10 years to wade through all the data.
Luckily, they didn’t have to spend another decade figuring out the census data thanks to a young inventor named Herman Hollerith. He created a machine based on punch cards which makes it easier to record information. From here, big data only continued to grow. With the introduction of computers and modern technology, we find ourselves facing larger volumes of data than ever before.
How Businesses Use Data
Now that you understand where big data comes from, let’s talk about how companies actually use this information. When there’s so much data to sift through, it’s hard to know what data is the most valuable. It all comes down to your audience.
You want data that helps you meet your customers’ needs. This data needs to be accurate, relevant, and consensual. Some you will collect yourself, and others will come from your software and industry sources.
While big data is by no means a new concept, effectively using this data is something we’ve seen only in the past decades. As competition increases, businesses are using this data in new ways like these below:
- Customer Trends – How do your customers behave? What do they look for when choosing where to spend their money? Big data helps answer these questions by allowing businesses to take a closer look at customer insights.
- Targeted Marketing – With so many marketing avenues to consider today, how do you know which ones are most effective for your business? With big data, you know which avenues work for you and which to avoid
- Website Performance – No article on big data would be complete without some tech. One powerful way to use big data is in increasing your own website performance. For more information on analytics and web performance, review this Python Logging Basics article by Loggly.
Big data drives change. It’s how businesses continue to innovate and push forward. Without the right numbers and analytics, we’d all just be taking shots in the dark. If you want your business to be the next big thing, you need to have an idea of what that thing will be.
Knowing your audience has never been more valuable or easier thanks to big data. Are you ready to embrace this power for your own business? There’s no time to waste.
Want to learn more about big data solutions that can help your business? Click here.