The watchword is Big Data and it has the potential to revolutionize the way we think about using information to our advantage. What exactly is Big Data and why has it become so important? Big data refers to data that is too massive in size for traditional databases and data warehouses to store, grows at an exponential rate that possibly can’t be measured and is too diverse in its structure to process.
What possibly could lead to this sudden increase in data? The growth of high speed internet is the main reason why so much consumer data is lying untapped. Internet penetration across the world has kept potential consumers captivated to social platforms such as Facebook, Twitter etc. If one were to fathom the importance that firms give to consumer activity on a Facebook account, such as the pressing of the like button to a particular product, frequent visits to a particular brand page, one would understand why firms are chasing people who can manage big data efficiently for them.
These people would help firms analyse market trends, identify the needs and wants of people even before they crave it. They could help a firm understand correlations between business actions and unrelated spikes to sales. All of this could help a firm predetermine a path to success by providing answers to questions that haven’t arisen yet.
The important thing is to understand that the information necessary to determine predictions is already available, the answer lies in harnessing this information, asking new and innovative questions that will keep you one step ahead of the competition.
With the growth of emerging technologies such as Hadoop, Pig, Zoo-Keeper, Hive, MongoDB to name a few, it has given us (the analysts!) the ability to analyse unimaginably large data sets, thus provide answers to questions that were previously incomprehensible. What it essentially means is that we can now analyse every ‘like’ button pressed by a consumer on a Facebook account, by that we can draw inferences about his/her choice and preference. The next time the person logs into his account, the firm could show related products and thus increase its chances of a sale. Every card swiped, every order placed on Web Apps like Zomato, Food Panda, Paytm wallet activities, are some of the instances in which client data could be analysed to draw correlations and thus foresee consumer trends.
Prediction is the name of the game and any firm caught napping will pay heavily in terms of loss of market share, consumer base, brand equity, brand awareness etc. Thus, it is imperative that firms invest heavily in analytics and find the right talent who can use data as a leverage to beat competition. As a firm, are you game on?