Big data analytics, or the collection and analysis of huge sums of data to discover underlying trends and patterns, is increasingly shaking the foundations of the business world. As the field continues to grow at an explosive rate, many innovators are asking themselves how they can exploit big data to optimize their businesses.
While businesses have analyzed data for decades, recent developments in computing have opened new doors and unleashed big data’s potential. A report from SNS research details the breadth of big data’s impact; it’s now a $57 billion market, and is expected to continue to grow.
So how exactly is big data driving changes in the marketplace, and what does the future of this exciting industry hold?
Big data demands a skilled workforce
Savvy firms are using big data to foster increased consumer engagement, target new audiences with their advertisements, and hone the efficiency of their operations. A company can’t make use of this exciting new technology, however, if they don’t have the necessary human capital to exploit it.
Businesses are increasingly looking for skilled workers intimately familiar with data collection and analysis. These talented data gurus are being scooped up in droves by firms hoping to one day be on the Fortune 500 list, with some firms even employing training to ensure their teams are up to snuff. While college-educated employees are already highly valued, the workplace of tomorrow will demand even greater academic credentials and familiarity with tech from its workers.
Consider Teradata’s 2017 Data and Analytics Trend Report, which highlights the fact that nearly half of global businesses are facing a dearth of employees with data skills. As the gargantuan big data market continues to grow, firms will need more innovative workers who aren’t intimidated by disruptive technologies.
As big data’s capabilities grow to be more impressive, companies will need to ensure their workforce is up to the task of analyzing it to make better decisions. The last thing any innovative firm needs is to be left in the dust due to the lackluster performance of its human employees.
Big data’s disruptive impact
The disruptive nature of big data has led it to revolutionize a number of key industries. The financial industry, which is predicted to become heavily automated in the coming years, now relies on software which can crunch astonishingly large amounts of data to predict market trends and detect inefficiencies in company’s financial operations.
Emerging industries like credit services, autonomous vehicles and smart homes, too, are being fueled by the emergence of big data. The impressive smart cars of tomorrow rely on the collection and interpretation of localized data to avoid crashes and optimize their routes, for instance.
Many existing business behemoths owe their place in the market to big data, as well. Netflix, a service so proliferated it’s almost taken for granted, reshaped the home entertainment industry largely thanks to its collection and analysis of user data. The company can determine which of its shows will be the most successful in any given market, predict which pilots it should fund, and even forecast how many entertainment awards it may win by crunching ever-growing amounts of data.
Utilizing big data for business success
As more companies and governmental organizations sees the benefits of big data, there’s no doubt they’ll pour more funding into it to better exploit it. Insurance companies eager to determine who among their clients is the most likely to get into accidents will employ increasingly advanced algorithms to detect risk. Tech giants like Apple and Google will employ analytics to determine how their latest gadgets might sell among their existing customers. Big data’s opportunities are virtually limitless.
IBM’s innovation report points to how emerging industries like 3D-printing and wearable tech will use big data to detect flaws in their operations or gauge user’s opinions on the products they buy. One of the most important factors in a business’ success, they point out, is how CEOs and CIOs invest early in analytics to better optimize their firms and forecast the future.
As the internet of things continues to grow at a dizzying pace, firms will find more sources of valuable data waiting to be collected and interpreted. There’s an entire marketplace waiting to be exploited by those companies wise enough to invest now in analytical forecast.
While the visions of the digital world’s future are often grim, highlighting increased levels of automation and pointing to existing markets which may be disrupted, they seldom capture the full potential of big data. This extraordinary phenomenon will soon find itself being used in the manufacturing, marketing, and delivering of virtually every product and service.
Individuals and companies who don’t want to be left behind should appreciate the future of the information marketplace, and prepare for it while they can. There’s a brave new world waiting to be capitalized on, and it belongs to those who use big data.