Big Data is Making Waves

"This is a game changer."

"What a competitive advantage."

"The ROI will be so big with insights from big data; it will hit historical numbers, management will be talking about this implementation for years."

These are a few things that come to mind when thinking about big data.  How to run leaner, in an industry where big companies are having to reinvent processes to stay abreast with disrupter startups and enterprises. What are one thing larger conglomerates in manufacturing, specifically heavy industrial businesses that require asset acquisition and ongoing operational costs? They can use data to help make their processes agiler. How? By decreasing down time, anticipating needs and production elements better. Analyzing this and actively taking steps to improve various business elements will save money in the long run and gives employees more time to engage with customers or in research and development and not in administrative tasks. An example I received from a course on Data Visualization in the Retail Management Certificate at Ryerson University is from the University of Texas: if the "average" Fortune 1000 businesses were able to use even just 10% of their data, there would be more than a $2 billion increase in revenues. (Wowzas)

Shall I sell you more on why you need to get started on big data strategy yesterday? Ah, well thank you. Please enjoy the next session, which is all about the 101 on big data so you can sound cool in the next business meeting, or wine discussion around the next generation of global commerce.

Big data was defined in 2011, and consists of the four V's of big data:

Questions to ponder:

  • What data is important to track? (KPI's)

  • How fresh do you want your data and analytics? (collation rate: hourly, daily, weekly)

  • Where is your data coming from? (groupings, sourcing, marketing activities)
  • What is the quality of the data? (did you hear it from the local gossip, or did hear it from the donkeys month? 

Things to learn:

  • How to use analytics to create value from the data
  • How to know when to react quickly or slowly to the data
  • How to manage various types of data (structured and unstructured), more importantly how to structure and measure unstructured data so it adds value to your business.
  • What are the indicators to tell you trends across channels (social media, customers, vendors - think Porter's 5 Forces)
  • If large enterprises used their data to drive productivity, it would and result in increased sales of billions of data and productivity gains in the realm of 20 - 50%.
  • Multi-channel retailing is where the real complexity comes in (keep checking in for another blog post on the topic).