Big Data Impacts: The Questions Business Users Can Answer
Big data has changed the nuances for defining and quantifying terms such as valuable, important, and successful. It is these nuances that fuel the insights that are the source of competitive advantage and business differentiation. New big data sources, plus new advanced analytic capabilities, enable higher fidelity answers to these questions, and provide a more complete understanding of your customers, products, and operations that can drive business impact across various business functions, such as:
- Merchandising to identify which marketing promotions and campaigns are the most effective in driving store or site traffic and sales.
- Marketing to optimize prices for perishable goods such as groceries, airline seats, and fashion merchandise.
- Sales to optimize the allocation of scarce sales resources against the best sales opportunities and most important or highest potential accounts.
- Procurement to identify which suppliers are most cost-effective in delivering high-quality products in a predictable and timely manner.
- Manufacturing to flag machine performance and process variances that might be indicators of manufacturing, processing, or quality problems.
Human Resources to identify the characteristics and behaviors of your most successful and effective employees.
Big data achieved from technology does not need to be used solely within big business and Fortune 500 companies, which is the typical consensus. Instead, small businesses — those mom and pop shops, startups, and entrepreneurs — have the ability to use such massive amounts of information to provide a product or service tailored more specifically to their market, respectively.
In regard to small business, “big data” is a term used to describe collected data from consumers in an effort to identify spending patterns and behaviors based on a wide variety of variables. Using this data to better plan store inventory, staff schedules or even store discounts can help businesses to grow revenue and stay current with their customers.
Big data is especially significant to smaller business because data and figures surrounding consumer interaction can tell very specific things including:
Time/day spending preferences
Trend buying (what are people buying most?)
Social media interaction (what is being talked about, what are people satisfied/dissatisfied with?)