You cannot talk about business intelligence and strategy today without making reference to big data. The improved computing power at the disposal of individuals has given rise to a whole lot of new opportunities and threats in the business community. Smart organizations cannot do without tapping into the enormous opportunity
WHAT IS BIG DATA?
Big data is coined by technologists and marketers to describe the volume and speed at which data is been created nowadays. Big data is one of those numerous ways of describing digital enterprise soft assets. Philip Kotler, one of the marketing power house years ago made a statement that data mining is the emerging trend in business analysis and strategic planning.
Many never understood what he was saying then until the explosion in affordable information generation tools in the hands of many. Twiter, youtube, facebook, google+, linkedin, etc all now acts as agents of both structured and unstructured information with valuable details that helps organizations make important economic decision.
IMPLICATIONS OF BIG DATA TO YOUR BUSINESS
The emergence of big data has some implications on the overall success of a business. Big data affects both past, present and future dealings of a business. What a company does today with the big data it collected yesterday can harm its long-term success. The implications and impacts of big data can be discussed in the following headings:
Security and privacy concern: as lots and lots of people’s personal information are been generated and stored, the risk of losing those personal details increases. Organizations now have the capability of tracking anything that they which to track. The catch here is the risk of exposing confidential sensitive data belonging to unsuspecting customer.
Governance perspective: Most people now use smartphones to unknowingly share their locations and some other sensitive information. This information is stored in one form or the other and this can pose security and privacy concern if adequate governance over IT is not in place.
Cost implication: the major data analysis challenge facing management in today’s ever motion-full business environment is the cost of processing the volume of the data that is been generated. Many have suggested that entities should only gather those data that they need in order to save cost, well, the question is, how do you identify those data that have the potential of being useful? Without hindsight information, it is very difficult to filter data at the point of entry into the system.
The implication is that the cost of processing information in this big data era would most likely outweigh the benefits derived from its business use. An option is to leverage on cloud computing.
Capability and knowledgebase: big data now means that organizations tend to heavily rely on the produce of real time analytical tools with the capacity and capability of producing decision support information in the right format.
Well, the challenge here is that many organizations, especially small businesses do not have the financial strength to acquire the right business analytics tool. Even when they manage to get fairly decent financial software that can reasonably manage this high volume of data, the technical knowhow amongst the staff is not often there.
Ease of access to data: the large volume of data that needs to be processed before gaining the required access could be a problem in time of disaster recovery.
Difficult to separate shaft from real information: because people now generate all sorts of data within split seconds, companies now struggle to make sense out of the petabytes of data. The implication is that the quality of data will most likely drop as a result of having too many noisy data within the big-data.
IMPORTANCE AND BENEFITS OF BIG DATA
Better planning: strategic planning has become so intertwined with technology to the extent that it is now very difficult to. Governments across the globe now use big data to predict unrest and then plan towards providing adequate security measures.
Big data provides useful insight: by exploring the information that people give away on social media websites, companies can easily gain information that helps to build a monetization strategy.
Ability to identify trends quickly: companies can employ powerful tools like mapreduce, hadoop and the IBM data analytics tool to quickly identify trend thereby providing companies competitive advantage. Understanding the contextual meaning of key words is a major challenge that managers are still struggling to deal with.
Establishes consumer confidence: through the application of the 6Is of ecommerce, businesses now leverage on the size and volume of big data to provide personalised information to a customer thereby leaving a lasting positive customer experience. Care should however be taken not to fall into the temptation of using big data outside the legal framework.
It is obvious from the above discussion that big data has brought us unimaginable opportunity and at the same time an unimaginable threat. To be successful, companies should explore the Vs (variety, volume and velocity) in big data.
You will do your business a lot good if you embrace the new era of managing all sorts of intelligent details. Join the moving train of big data before you are left out. Remember that big data are in forms that cannot be wholly analysed by traditional computer technique.