Big data is the term used to describe massive volumes of data, either structured or unstructured, that is so large that it is difficult to process using traditional database and software techniques. Although the term may seem to reference the volume of data, that isn’t always the case. Big Data is often defined as Volume, Variety and Velocity.

  • The term big data, especially when used by vendors, may refer to the technology, including tools and processes that an organization requires to handle the large amounts of data and storage facilities.
  • The term big data is believed to have originated with Search companies who had to query very large distributed aggregations of loosely-structured data.

Big Data can come from social networks, sensors, satellite imagery, mobile phones, GPS, cars, financial markets and many more things. Big data exceeds the processing capacity of conventional database systems. It is fast, varied, valuable and really big. It does not fit the traditional database architecture so it can only be analysed by using new technology

Big Data Analytics

Big data analytics is the process of examining large amounts of data of a variety of types to uncover hidden patterns, unknown correlations and other useful information. This information can then be used to provide competitive advantages over rival organizations and result in business benefits, such as more effective marketing and increased revenue.

The first step toward analyzing huge amounts of data is figuring out what information is important to track. No matter what metrics you use, the ultimate goal is to turn prospects into paying customers. There are a number of ways to do this, but ultimately there is a process that helps achieve those results.

Big Data Advantages

Big data lets retailers predict trends by combining enterprise data with other relevant information to create predictive models and consumer behavior patterns. These models can help further analyse buying behaviors to identify the type of customers most likely to buy a specific product offering.

Creating customer profiles lets a retailer see which method of contact customers prefer, and predict which medium they’re most likely to use when interacting with a brand or buying a product.

Big data also lets companies customize real-time discounts and special offers for each unique customer segment. It also helps to automatically suggest related items or accessories a shopper may wish to bundle into their latest purchase.

Simply by creating customer profiles, a business can tailor its marketing efforts. Using data in this way, customers aren’t just more aware of a product, but they’re more receptive to learning about it. The information can be delivered when, and how, the prospect or customer wants it.

A study from IBM shows that companies which excel at data efficiency and have more mature business analytics and optimization can experience 20 times more profit growth and 30% higher return on invested capital.

Experts agree that big data offers a big opportunity for businesses.

Has your organization embraced Big Data?