Big Data: The Next Frontier for Innovation

What is Big Data?

Big Data is a term used to describe an enormous quantity of structured, semi-structured and unstructured data. Since moving into the technology era, there has been a huge growth in data sets due to more and more individuals using mobile phones, tablets, social media platforms and Internet ‘clickstreaming’. Nowadays, it seems, society leaves their digital mark wherever they go, which has seen an influx in a constant stream of Big Data.

Once the data is captured, it is stored. However, regardless of how much Big Data one company may have, the importance lies in what businesses do with it. Big Data can be analyzed to offer insight into trends and patterns, allowing businesses and companies to establish astute business strategies and make more informed decisions. It can also be utilized to show human behavioral tendencies. It reveals information that allows companies to predict a user’s preference and give an educated suggestion on what a user may want to watch or want to buy. Companies, such as Starbucks and Netflix[1] have engaged their Big Data for this use and have proven immensely successful.

A Tool for Innovation: the 3 Vs of Big Data

In 2001, Doug Laney, created the 3 Vs of Big Data, articulating its main components[2].

  1. Volume: the enormous and seemingly infinite amount of data produced every day from an expansive range of sources.

  2. Velocity: the immense speed that data streams in at.

  3. Variety: the huge scope of different data that is gathered from a multitude of different platforms, accumulating structured, unstructured and semi-structured data.

Its capacity to encompass these three components has proven that Big Data is an invaluable tool in today’s industries, generating value and offering crucial insight.

Here are three ways Big Data is becoming the next frontier for innovation:  

1. Product Revolution

Gathering data from a company’s current services and products allows manufacturers to, not only drastically improve existing business models, but also to create an updated, enhanced and refined version. Through harnessing data, companies are able to gain insight into how a product or service could be improved, essentially mobilizing manufacturing companies to constantly create and update models, services and products. This could have an enormously positive impact on businesses, allowing them to only offer services and stock products that their data has shown to be successful, potentially sky-rocketing a company’s profit margin. Many industries could benefit from this use. As a result of using the data, McKinsey & Company estimate it has the potential to raise retailers’ operating margins by 60%[3].

2. Tracking Personal Location Data

The harnessing of personal location Big Data is proving to have incredibly innovative results. Devices with GPS, such as mobiles, provide large volumes of data as many applications require a user’s continual location, allowing for frequent location data updates. This has significantly assisted developers in creating new and improved applications and business models, as well as generating financial opportunities for companies.

Currently, 87% of U.S. adults’ locations are known via their mobiles, which has helped companies, such as Osito, use an individual’s prior locations to predict their future activity. Additionally, Google Now has begun to display the weather in places it thinks a user may potentially head to soon, as well as offering information on nearby houses-for-sale, if a user has recently searched for a property via the internet[4].

These examples are only a small sliver of the ways that companies are using and capitalizing in on Big Data. As time proceeds, the quality and volume of Personal Location Data will undoubtedly advance, continuing to create numerous business and financial possibilities.

3. Offering Customers A Personalized Touch

Data segmentation of Big Data is helping to fulfill innovative lead generations for companies. Segment data can create a personalized experience for customers. Big data provides companies with customer demographic, their shopping habits and preferences, as well as when they are most likely make a purchase. This information can help companies in targeting customers by appealing to their individual preferences, displaying items and services they would most likely purchase. This promotes customer engagement and interaction, increasing company revenue. One such company that has proven highly successful as a result of data segmentation is Amazon. Not only sparking their customers’ interest by using Big Data to create advertising algorithms, it also dramatically improves customer relations, making the consumer’s experience far more enjoyable and more likely to ensure their return[1].

Big Data: An Innovative Future

Many industries, such as healthcare, retail and telecommunications, are using Big Data to manage and create opportunities. In the near future, it is highly likely that the majority of industries worldwide will join them in their utilization of Big Data. With humans generating over two and a half quintillion bytes of data every day, it is no surprise[5]. As companies become more and more inundated with an enormity of data, the logical response will be to employ Big Data and reap the benefits. Not only does it make company management easier but it also improves customer services, generates profit and creates opportunities. Big Data has certainly proven itself to be the next frontier for innovation.


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