What Is Big Data? Why We Need Big Data & Analytics?

Big data is a collection of data curated over time to form a framework that can guide businesses and governments on making evidence – based decisions. Nearly all fields of business use big data these days; insurance companies use it for real time fraud detection and online retail stores use it to present the user a list of related items for consideration. In both these cases arriving at solution involved “collecting and analyzing significant and growing volumes of structured and multi-structured data”.

Managing and Analyzing Big Data

Till the emergence of big data, most business analytics were created from structured data taken from operational systems and condensed into a data warehouse. Big data increases the number of sources of data as well as the variety of it that is useful for analysis. A high percentage of this data is often described as multi-structured to separate it from the structured operational data used to create a data warehouse. In most organizations, multi-structured data is growing at a considerably faster rate than structured data.

There are endless benefits to managing Big Data instead of either ignoring it or allowing it to outpace your organization. Industry research provides three key reasons why your organization needs a Big Data and analytics strategy now. A Big Data and analytics strategy benefits your organization in the following ways:

 1 | Creating Smarter, Faster and Leaner Organizations

A well thought out and executed Big Data and analytics strategy will ultimately make any organization smarter and more efficient. For example, Harvard Business Review reports that police departments in New York use big data “to geo-locate and analyze ‘previous arrest patterns’ while cross-checking them with sporting events, paydays, rainfall, traffic flows, and federal holidays.”

Essentially, they are utilizing data patterns, scientific analysis, and technological tools to do their job and to do it to the best of their ability. Using a big data and analytics strategy, the NYPD (New York City Police Department) was able to identify crime “hot spots” and prevent crimes that were likely to occur before the crimes were actually committed.  What this means is that data is creating leads and context in which the NYPD can hopefully operate at an optimal level.

According to GE’s CMO Beth Comstock, “The same logic is being applied to economic forecasting. For example, the number of Google queries about housing and real estate from one quarter to the next turns out to predict more accurately what’s going to happen in the housing market than any team of expert real estate forecasters.”

2 | Equipping an Organization to have Cross-Channel Conversations

In most organizations, it is not easy to carry out the conversations with customers the old-fashioned way. This is mainly due to too much dialogue coming in from various sources.  In Forrester’s “Use Behavioral Marketing to up the Ante in the Age of the Customer,” they note that building “the technical infrastructure to support dynamic, cross-channel conversations with customers” is absolutely necessary for organizational impact.


According to this leadership paper, “It’s simply not possible to manage the delivery of dynamic, targeted, consistent content, offers, and products, across digitally enabled customer touch-points when marketing tasks are semi-automated with a series of un integrated software tools.”

Best industry practices today suggest staying close to the customer by investing in customer insight. Innovative teams will integrate emerging digital, social and mobile tools into more traditional ‘voice of the customer’ processes, and effectively build feedback loops into key business functions such as product development and sales.

This is how big data works for an organization’s marketing efforts. By having a database on customer preferences and dislikes, the organization can work itself accordingly and minus time loss by contacting individual customers.

3| Preparing Your Organization for the Future

The inevitable future of any organization is the digitization of all customer-facing organizational systems from customer service to sales to marketing. The iConsumer report makes an interesting case as to why structural changes within organizations are necessary now. They cite two cases.

The first reversal was in the newspaper industry that moved from booming to near obsolete with the advent of online publishing. This happened within a decade.

The second reversal was in the recording/music industry that moved from booming CD sales to obsolete (CD sales) with the advent of digital music.

This also happened within a decade. Both reversals were gradual until they were sudden. If they had looked at the data, newsstands and music – stands would still exist in stores. These are both great examples of the gradual takeover that Big Data management tools are having within the marketing teams and departments of every organization today.

From the smallest shop to international organizations, resisting the scientific and systematic approach to data analysis, online advertising, and more will become obsolete. Fortunately, we are still in the era of gradual shift. Nowadays organizations have teams of data scientists and analysts that keep track of market changes and make appropriate changes regarding product development and sales and marketing.

In conclusion, big data is out there and it holds the key to any organization’s survival in the future. For more information regarding the world of big data, its optimization and analytics, join us at International School of Engineering or Call US on +91 9502334562 / 9701685511 (Mon-Fri 9AM-6PM IST)


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