Big data is powerful tool. But sometimes, it’s treated as a luxury — nice to have, but not totally necessary. That’s a mistake. Given how competitive the business world is, the benefits of big data shouldn’t be underestimated.
For those who learn how to leverage it properly, big data can lead to substantial breakthroughs and lead to more solid business decisions. A powerful big data platform lets business ask and answer more questions, allows for a more accurate decision making process and can truly empower your workforce.
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But how? We’ve identified the top three benefits of big data — the benefits that trickle down to empower your business teams, encourage them to ask and answer more questions and more.
Big Data Benefit #1: Answer More Questions, More Completely
Managing a business or business processes is as much about answering questions as anything else.
- What do customers want?
- What are our customers’ needs?
- Who are our best customers?
- Why do people choose a different brand or solution?
Even on a daily basis, the number of questions business leaders can ask is staggering.
Before today’s more streamlined big data analytics offerings, answering even seemingly simple questions such as “Who are my 10 best customers?” could take up to 60 days for business teams to analyze. Even after they figured out the right criteria, actually compiling and analyzing the data was a time-consuming process. The burden only grew as questions became more complex.
For example, with the question “Who were the 10 worst customers?” just trying to figure out the criteria for judging these 10 worst customers would have been difficult. After that, actually gathering and analyzing the data could be an extremely intensive process. In the practical world of business, it may have been all but impossible to answer in a timely, and thus relevant manner.
With a powerful big data business intelligence platform, answering these questions becomes a relatively straight-forward process. One of the most important benefits of big data is the ability to ask and answer questions more robustly. The whole process of answering complex questions can be shortened from months and weeks, to days and even hours or minutes.
Big Data Benefit #2: Become Confident in Your Accurate Data
When you incorporate big data into your question-and-answer process for business decisions, you not only gain a more complete view of your answers, but also a more accurate view. With regard to accuracy, the benefits big data provides are hard to overestimate. Working with data itself always carried an inherent risk that false or incomplete data could lead to uninformed or even misinformed decisions.
Big data analytics has greatly reduced these risks by creating a more accurate and complete view of your data. With the right BI platform, businesses can gather data from a huge number of sources, reducing the risk of siloed, valuable information. Inaccurate data isn’t just an inconvenience for businesses. If business leaders are basing their decisions off of inaccurate data, their decisions could even be harmful to the company. At the very least, these decisions are going to be suboptimal.
In the past, I worked with an Asian mobile company that was struggling with customers leaving every 60 to 90 days. The company initially assumed that customers were leaving to join competitors. They launched customer retention programs and service-based offerings to retain customers. They assumed that customers were leaving the company due to problems associated with the service they received — service prices were too high, or customer service was poor, or the cellular service itself was unreliable.
But then they started digging deeper in the data. And they realized that their supposed customer retention issue was actually a cultural issue. Turns out, the customers were very “fashion conscious” when it came to their cell phones, and they wanted the latest and greatest phone. They weren’t leaving the company. Rather, they were killing their contracts so they could get a newer phone.
The problem here was an inaccurate, incomplete view of the data. It was only after the company had a complete view of the data that they could correctly analyze the situation and offer a correct solution for their problem.
Big Data Benefit #3: Empower a New Generation of Employees
Millennials are technology natives. Many older generations are technology immigrants. The difference comes down to how each party uses technology. For example, a millennial who wants to answer a question such as “What does the flag of the European Union look like?” will probably pick up a smart phone and find the information almost instantly.
Most older generations have developed near-native fluency in technology. But many are still used to doing things the old way. Want to know what the colors of a flag are? Head to the library, call a flag expert or pull out a physical encyclopedia.
Millennials are accustomed to technology that helps them find what they want, instantly.
In the past, limited data sets meant businesses could only ask and answer a few questions.Now, with a powerful big data analytics platform, businesses can not only answer more questions quickly, but also more questions about the questions themselves. This leads to cognitive improvements in the question-answering process, making the process itself more organic and fluid. By empowering analysts, and especially younger analysts, businesses can create an environment that encourages creativity, outside-the-box thinking, and increased critical and analytic analyses.
Big data analytics platforms offer a huge range of benefits for millennials and other people with native-level fluency in technology. A great big data analytics platform allows a business to expand the type and amount of data it works with, and the best platforms also make it easy to build data-empowered presentations.
These are only a few of the benefits of big data, of course. What do you think big data will do for you?