Big data. You’ve probably heard the term so many times, used so many different ways, that its meaning has become muddled.
Well, it’s time to bring clarity back to big data, because it’s going to help you take your business development to new heights. Ignoring or marginalizing the value of big data will shortchange your consumers, employees, and industry as a whole. However, learning what it is and how to effectively utilize data management brings virtually endless possibilities.
What is Big Data?
Big data refers to incredibly large sets of data that are analyzed by a computer to find important meanings. Such analysis reveals patterns, trends, and connections that might otherwise remain unnoticed. The patterns revealed often relate to human behavior and interaction, which are incredibly valuable to businesses and consumers alike.
Today, data comes from countless sources in astronomical quantities. In fact, we create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data daily. This data comes from social media posts, shared photographs, videos, locational services, financial transactions, and numerous other sources.
Furthermore, the methods for creating and gathering data increase daily. Every time a person interacts with technology, they’re probably creating data that is stored in a repository for analysis. Statistics show that by 2020 10 billion mobile devices will be in use.
The business world became aware of big data over a decade ago, but using it effectively didn’t happen immediately. Many companies tried to develop complex new ventures utilizing this data, but ultimately, they ended as costly failures. This frightened many a business away from exploring big data possibilities.
However, over the past few years, technology and data management has improved. Consequently, big data has exploded in popularity, and soon, it will revolutionize the way business works.
Why is Big Data Important to Business Now?
Big data is becoming increasingly important to businesses because people are learning how to use it for business development—but it didn’t used to be that way.
In the past, data used to be hard to store and even harder to access. With trillions of sensors filling the internet with vast amounts of data, it’s no surprise that data management was a challenge. Only the wealthiest of companies could even afford to try.
Now, however, big data storage and analysis has become much more affordable. The technology improves all the time, increasing storage and analysis capabilities.
Companies aren’t wasting any time with this big resource at their disposal. They are beginning to innovate new business model ideas, operational tactics, and competitive strategies as they discover more about big data. They are also able to test ideas and products with much less risk and much greater reward.
Some businesses are even turning big data itself into a successful business model all its own, because their initial concerns create a wealth of data that is valuable to market to others. No matter what industry you work in or how many competitors you have, big data can work for you.
The trick is to get started as soon as possible and start discovering new ways to apply big data to your own industry and company before someone else beats you to the punch. The possibilities with big data are endless, but here are three great ways to leverage big data for business development.
1. Create New Revenue Streams With Big Data
Does your company create vast amounts of data? If the answer is yes, then you probably have an excellent resource to generate more revenue for your business. Many companies don’t realize that they are sitting on a major source of income thanks to their data. With just a little effort, you can turn data into a money-making product to fund growth.
Where there is data, there is always someone who can use it to their advantage. This someone is probably willing to pay for access to this data, and therein lies the potential for new revenue. A survey by the Economist Intelligence Unit found that 58% of professionals in the US are routinely using data to generate value.
First, you must figure out whether you can provide your valuable data to other companies without ceding your competitive advantage. You don’t want to provide information that will allow a competitor to move ahead of you. Instead, look for companies in other industries, or with a different focus than your own.
When you find someone who can use your information without damaging your business prospects, you find your new revenue stream. For example, banking apps collect piles of financial data from their customers, including information on spending habits. If they remove sensitive information from the data to protect customer privacy, they can sell it to credit card companies. This doesn’t hurt their competitive edge, and it pays generously.
So, evaluate your data to find out who might want to pay for it. If you find a consumer base that won’t hurt your competitive edge, you have a valuable way to fund business development. Some businesses find that selling data is more profitable than what they are doing now, and that’s when a whole new business model comes into play.
2. Use Big Data To Refresh Your Business Model
Companies with a wealth of data that generates income more effectively than their primary products and services have a decision to make. If their business is more successful at selling data than anything else, it’s time to become a data-centric business. Two of the simplest models for doing this are selling data as a service and selling information as a service.
Data as a service simply means that you will provide the data you collect and process to customers who will use it as they see fit. It is important to remove all sensitive information from such data to protect privacy and keep your operations legal, but other than that, the data can be relatively raw. You provide the data, and your customers will analyze it for their own purposes. It’s simple, but very effective and lucrative.
Information as a service takes more work, because you are analyzing the data and providing insights, rather than simply providing raw data. Of course, the extra work pays in greater revenue. People are willing to pay more for a more finished product.
Take any company that works with locational data. If the company has created comprehensive maps, they can sell these maps to other companies who want to offer navigation capabilities. The company can use the maps in whatever way they need, without processing vast amounts of data to create their own map.
If you have an abundance of minimally processed data and others want to analyze it for their own insight, go for data as a service. If you have analyzed data that other companies find useful, go for information as a service. Of course, there are plenty of other big data business models out there, and the trick is finding the one that works best for you.
3. Generate New Ideas Using Insight From Big Data
If you are sticking with your current business model, you can still use big data to move in new directions. Big data can be a great way to find new product ideas that will breathe new life into your business. It’s all about asking the right questions with your data analysis. With enough data, you can build comprehensive consumer profiles that help you predict what customers want or need next.
Your data can tell you all about the pain points and needs of your customers. For example, many companies currently use sensors within their products. A sensor reveals exactly how consumers are using the products in real time, which is a great way to see where a product is succeeding and where it needs work. If your customers are using your products in a way they weren’t designed to be used, you can create a new product designed exactly for that use, which will be more effective.
The more data you have and the more angles you can approach evaluation from, the more ideas you are likely to generate. Big data can do just about anything, you just have to discover new ways to use it.
Harness the Power of Big Data For Your Business
The relationship between big business and data is just getting started. You can expect it to flourish in the years ahead until they are inextricably linked.
The sooner you get on board with using big data to change the way you do business, the better. Big data is crucial to staying with, or ahead, of the times and setting new industry standards.
For more information on big data, and other important topics and technologies for your business, please check out our website for great resources and services. Thrive Internet Marketing can help you keep your competitive edge and act as a partner that will take your company to the top.