September 30, 2013

Employing Big Data to Drive Big Results

International Data Corporation (IDC), a leading market intelligence provider, put out a recent forecast that projects the global big data services market to reach an astounding $23.8 billion by 2016. From social media interactions to Point of Sale (POS) transactions, e-commerce statistics, and more, there is a voluminous amount of data available for companies to analyze. Big data analysis is allowing businesses to closely study consumer-brand interactions and rework their sales and marketing strategies to improve their bottom line.

Big data integration is no longer restricted to large enterprises. Today, more and more businesses of all sizes are using big data to identify new routes to revenues, ramp up productivity, trigger innovation, measure marketing effectiveness, and provide real time, data-driven insights instead of guesstimates. If you are looking to derive business insights from big data, here are some important points to remember before investing in big data services:

Due Diligence – The opportunities are limitless around big data, but companies must be careful not to get lost in the avalanche of information available. A due diligence exercise can help identify relevant information that needs to be captured in order to address challenges facing a business.

Infrastructure – The cost of investment related to setting up the infrastructure for both short and long-term big data analysis is an important one to consider. As with custom software development services, companies must weigh the pros and cons of hiring in-house data analysts versus outsourcing big data services to a software development partner.

Choice of Software – Over the years, there has been tremendous progress in open source development, the effects of which can be seen in emerging technologies like big data as well. Companies looking to test the waters with big data frameworks can opt to use open source frameworks like Apache Hadoop or Riak to achieve their objectives, instead of relying on  proprietary software.

The notion that big data is only for big companies is a thing of the past. An increasing number of companies of all sizes are identifying the surge (or the lack of it) in searches for their products/services, segmenting customers to drive loyalty programs to trigger repeat sales, analyzing transaction data to create personalized customer outreach campaigns, and doing many other exciting things using the information captured through big data analysis.