In today’s data-driven world, social media, log files, videos, voice messages, emails, computers, and much more are generating a massive amount of data. Companies that are gathering all of this structured and unstructured data and then leveraging it to drive better business decisions can have a significant impact on their business. Big data analytics has a considerable potential to change the way people do business. Through this, business leaders can make better business decisions leading to increased revenue generation and decreased operating costs while creating new business models. To understand big data on a deeper level, let’s take a look at the four characteristics that help define it.
Volume: This is the scale of how much data there is and can help to determine whether the data is considered “significant” or not.
Variety: This includes various forms of big data like structured, unstructured, video, text, etc.
Velocity: This refers to how quickly the data is created and used because most of the big data enter in real-time.
Veracity: This refers to the quality of the data that is captured.
Now, the question remains why big data is so vital for businesses? Do businesses need big data analytics for handling their data? To answer these questions, we need to know the importance of big data.
Importance of Big Data
Data plays a crucial role in understanding valuable insights about customer preferences. It explains a lot about customers’ behavior, personalities, and life events. The generated data of customers when captured and analyzed correctly, it provides valuable insights for businesses to take action upon it. Even though the notion of big data and its importance has been around for years, but only recently has technology allowed the efficiency and speed at which large sets of data can be analyzed.
There are two forms of data— structured and unstructured, which will expand significantly in the years to come. These forms of data will be gathered and analyzed to discover new perspectives and even help predict the future. Big data analytics can change how even the smallest enterprises become more available as data collection and analysis. Emerging innovative and cost-effective technologies are continually improving, thereby making it exceptionally easy for any organization to implement big data solutions seamlessly.
Furthermore, business success and failure depend upon the decision taken by the business owners. Therefore, it is imperative to have data-driven insights that can help these business owners make better decisions. Combined with advanced data analysis, big data analytics can significantly enhance decision-making, reduce risks, and unravel useful insights that otherwise remain unnoticeable.
How Big Data is used in Businesses across Industries
Data has become an integral part of business today. Various industries and verticals are investing in big data solutions to optimize their operations and manage data traffic.
Below are some of the areas of business where big data is embraced and leveraged.
Banking, Financial Services, and Insurance (BFSI)
Big data analytics is extensively applied by the BFSI sector to become more effective, customer-centered, and thus more profitable. It is used by financial institutions to remove overlapping, redundant processes, as well as to provide resources for easier data access. Banks and retailers use big data, among others, for calculating sentiment and high-frequency trading. The sector also relies on big data for risk analysis and tracking the operation of the financial markets.
Today, the key aim of every retail business is to attract new customers, retain existing customers, as well as sell more to each customer to improve the revenue generation. To achieve this, retail businesses are required to offer customers the products they want at the right prices and at the same time ensure a delightful customer experience. As a result, many retail organizations are using data analytics to achieve the objectives mentioned above.
The manufacturing industry is one of the hubs that generate a massive amount of data that remains untapped. The industry faces a variety of obstacles, such as labor shortages, dynamic supply chains, and breakdown of equipment. This is where big data can enable companies to discover new ways to save costs and improve product quality.
As the business world becomes more receptive to the advantages of big data, the oil industry does not seem to be far behind. When the vast amount of data is just collected, it has little worth. However, when it is identified, aggregated, processed, evaluated and refined then the outcome is valuable data-driven insights. The ability to access and draw rich insights from broad data sets will improve the productivity and output of the oil sector.
However, the use of big data has been sluggish in many sectors, such as healthcare, gas, and so on. The technology is expensive to implement, and the bulk of the data obtained during operations is still not used by many businesses. Big data usage is also affected by business silos and a lack of integration of data between units. The information is not always stored or formatted correctly across an enterprise. Moreover, identifying workers with the expertise to optimally evaluate and leverage data is also a daunting task.
To conclude, according to IDC, the big data and analytics software market, which in 2018 reached $60.7 billion worldwide, is expected to grow at a five-year CAGR of 12.5%. This showcase that the big data market is expected to experience remarkable growth in the forecast years. A sudden increase in the amount of structured and unstructured data is an essential factor. The increased penetration of technology in all facets of life and the proliferation of smartphones are among other factors that lead to the generation of more massive amounts of data. The growing need for data processing would lead to increased demand for big data analytics. Additionally, due to higher profit margins, the number of online businesses in the industry is also growing. Many sectors, such as hospitals, transportation, and banking, would make extensive use of online platforms to provide better customer support. All of the above factors are expected to lead to the growth of the global big-data industry.