Invest in Big Data now to Reap the Rewards
Most major companies are investing heavily in big data. Now is the time to join the party, or risk being left behind.
The concept of big data has been around for a few years now, and while companies are ploughing more investment into it than ever, there are some dissenting voices questioning exactly when the big payoff can be expected.
The advice from data insight developers is that the major investors are right to keep faith in big data, as the long term rewards will provide a return on investment that will leave the competition standing. Let’s take a look at why.
Optimise the customer experience
Perhaps the most oft-cited use for big data is to customise each client’s personal experience, also referred to as the customer journey. This is also the most complex, requiring significant amounts of data, and rapid processing to put it to the best use before it decays.
Every interaction between buyer and seller has its own distinct characteristics and features, from the initial contact right through to the after sale service. Understanding and reacting to each of those steps in the journey provides useful insights to the seller and added value to the customer.
Good quality data and the analysis tools to process it is a vital part of an efficient sales pipeline in the increasingly competitive market.
Big data provides the insights that predict changes and evolution in your marketplace. For example, it can help you see changes in customer needs, purchasing habits and even social behaviour. This gives you the chance to develop marketing campaigns that are highly specific to the evolving market.
It also means you will be the first to see any icebergs on the horizon, and you can navigate round them quicker and better than the competition.
The point is that good or bad, changes in the industry environment have a direct impact on your bottom line.
Optimise internal processes
Big data can create major benefits from an inward-looking perspective, too. Use it to identify gaps or bottlenecks in your processes, technologies and communication channels.
The insights provided mean you can optimise your internal business processes, eliminating ineffective, time consuming or outdated practices.
Improvements like these generate a more efficient output, and that leads to a better customer experience, whether it means quicker, slicker service, better complaints handling or improved demos and outreach.
The overall result is the same – satisfied, loyal customers and better sales.
Data provides insights on what your competitors are doing to influence consumers, and gives you the opportunity to gain a competitive advantage.
Social media is a perfect example. It is a powerful platform that generates huge quantities of data in terms of likes, shares, user engagement and interaction with influencers.
The analysis can go far beyond like for like comparison, however. Use the information to find ways to innovate and interact with customers in completely new ways.
Data security is a significant concern, and with more data comes more risk. Research suggests that the average corporate data breach in the USA costs an eye-watering $3.5 million.
Yet big data can also provide the solution, by allowing you to develop predictive models on the basis of real-time data, to see a dangerous situation before it arrives, and put you in the best position to mitigate your risk.