7 Use Cases for Big Data

Our businesses create, collect and consume an incredible amount of data, and it is multiplying rapidly. And that data can have a huge impact on business success by informing and improving decision-making, revamping and refining operations and creating new streams of revenue. It’s a resource that has unlimited potential for growth, as long as we’re able to store it and have the computing power to handle it. After all, big data is about more than size, data volume is just one of the aspects. The term also applies to the different varieties of data and the velocity and frequency of that data. Companies that are managing to master big data have the potential to create a profound impact. Here are just seven ways in which big data combined with analytics is delivering incredible business value:

1. Streamlining Business Operations

Big data analytics offers the ability to spot inefficiencies, identify areas that require improvement, and allocate resources effectively. Businesses that don’t use big data often rely on reports, ineffective dashboards and charts. The whole process is incredibly time-consuming, which impacts accuracy and the ability to view information in real time. With big data analytics, everyone in the business can have access to flexible, on-demand data insights and operations can be improved across the business. 

2. Forecasting with Greater Accuracy

Big data gives businesses the power to easily detect patterns and trends. This data can be used to improve forecasting, ensuring there are no shortages in products or hiccups in the supply chain. What’s more, it can help with budgeting and forecasting. By having a more accurate idea of the demand for a product or service, businesses are much better able to price it correctly and get the best return on investment. In a time where supply chain disruptions are rife, having the ability to accurately forecast can help to optimise inventory, shipping and logistics. 

3. Gaining a Holistic Customer View

Our digital footprints are growing exponentially as technology becomes increasingly intertwined in our daily lives. From a business perspective, all those clicks, views, sensor data, real-world data and more create an incredibly useful and insightful digital trail. Businesses that are harnessing big data effectively are analysing their customers and users and then using those insights to improve their services and meet specific user needs. Traditionally, static reports would take a long time to create and modify. With advanced analytics software, on the other hand, businesses can combine data from multiple sources and create dashboards that offer a complex view of customer behaviours and preferences. With this holistic view of their customers, businesses can make intelligent data-led decisions that can improve customer experience, enhance products and services and drive business growth. 

4. Improving Brand Loyalty

As an offshoot of creating dashboards that offer a complete view of the customers, businesses can use big data to fully understand what their customers are interested in, how they use products and services and what is standing in their way. Analysing behavioural patterns enables businesses to not just improve their products and services but to engage with their customers on a deeper level, have more meaningful conversations and build brand loyalty. There is no shortage of what can be measured and, when used in the right way, it can have a huge impact on customer acquisition and retention. 

5. Building Cyber Resilience

One of the downsides of the increased amount of data we consume and share across different devices, networks and applications is the rise in cyber threats. As our digital footprints grow, so does the attack surface. However, businesses are able to turn this on its head and tackle fraud and cybersecurity risks using big data analytics. Big data can be used to analyse behaviour internally to detect suspicious activity and also combine this with data from third-party sources. By having access to threats that haven’t even shown up yet in their own systems, businesses stand a chance of being a step ahead and can put the necessary protections in place to mitigate the risk of a cyberattack. 

6. Delivering Improved Personalisation

One of the most well-documented uses of big data is for product recommendations. Music and video streaming services have been taking advantage of this for some time, with massive customer behaviour databases, they’re able to use algorithms to predict customer interests and to optimise searches and recommendations. Instead of there being an overwhelming amount of choice, companies using big data can make tailored recommendations and improve customer satisfaction. Meanwhile, online advertising is taking advantage of big data analytics in a similar way. Ultimately, any company that has access to behavioural data can use it to inform decisions about what products and services to offer. 

7. Enhancing Risk Models

Business risk is complicated, which makes being able to anticipate, plan and respond to change a huge business strength. Big data can be used to improve the whole risk management process by providing early visibility into potential risks and helping to ascertain the level of risk. Big data-driven risk models can help predict everything from market risks to natural disasters with data used from a wide range of disparate sources. 

Will Your Business Harness the Power of Big Data?

While these use cases are some of the most common, they are just the beginning of what your business can achieve with big data. Every business has the power to use big data to respond to changing needs, meet evolving customer expectations and reduce business risk. On the flip side, those who don’t use big data stand to be at a disadvantage. If your business isn’t using big data to inform decision-making, then your competitors will be.

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