Harnessing big data is overwhelming when considering the various facets involved in effectively using this source of information. Big data represents a way for businesses to gain insight into their customer base, allowing access to volumes of streaming data from a range of sources.
Retailers harness big data most effectively, using their records to enhance target based promotions and personalise relevant offers. Similarly, many companies working within the remit of financial services, travel and hospitality fully utilise the collection of big data to improve their customers’ experiences and enhance business growth.
Although data streams might vary according to the industry using them, there are several common themes that should be kept in mind by any business trying to harness the power of big data.
Data collection to Synthesis
Primary research results need to be merged with other information sources, in order to derive meaning from the data to generate greater insight. For example, information relating to individual customers needs to be viewed in relation to the socio-demographic information available as well as other relevant types of data in order to improve customer experience.
Data sharing and collaboration
Corporate researchers must collaborate with analytics groups in order to facilitate effective data synthesis and analysis.
Invest in technology and skills
Data on its own is of limited value, and organisations need to ensure those who access the information are able to understand the technology required to understand the data presented to them.
Manage data quality
Data must be accurate in order to be effective. Whilst research teams are responsible for this, producing accurate results requires commitment through an entire organisation.
Define objectives and set priorities
Big data initiatives require focus and clear understanding. Trying to analyse all incoming data is futile – companies need to ensure their focus remains on the information they need, not the information they have.
Focus on actionable insights
Finding the pattern behind the data enables users to deliver meaningful insights. It is therefore critical to communicate these insights effectively and to collaborate with internal stakeholders in order to help business achieve its objectives.