|Image by Sean MacEntee via Flickr|
There is so much talk about Big Data. The procedures, processes and tools that are used for making sense of large sets of data an organization piles up is called Big Data. There is so much of talk about it. Understandably so.
Consider this situation of a case-study in early 90s to which I was a part of.
A company whose 80% revenues and also huge share of profits depended on a single product of theirs. There came a situation which was forcing the price of this product to be cut to 50%. This was going to impact their revenues and profits hugely. The company had to react fast and double or triple their sales to maintain revenues and profits. The company thought there may be scope and set out to find all the ways to do this.
The company chalked out a plan. Sent out the whole field-force with questionnaires and sought answers from customers to map the product usage, positioning, perception, results etc… It took the company a lot of spending to touch base with all involved and got a lot of feedback. The logistics involved in getting the feedback, sorting them out, consolidating, analyzing and chalking out a strategy based on the feedback took 6-8 months. Based on the feedback, they chalked out the strategy and ran 3-4 campaign cycles for a year. The result was there for everyone to see: The company did not double its sale but increased it by 6-8 times the original revenues on that product. The company survived and moved forward in leaps and bounds.
Where do you think the answer was? Obviously all the answers came from their customers, distributors, retailers and employees. How did the company win? The strength of the company was in the fact that they could reach all stake-holders, collect feedback (data), sort out the feedback data, analyze it and chalk out a strategy. The key to their future was in their ability to collect, analyze and make sense of the critical data. Not all organizations could have done such a tremendous job.
What Big Data Can Do
Imagine the same situation today with all the digital revolution.
Today it is called Big Data. The ability to handle and analyze huge data sets. Everything from winning competition to innovation happens because of this ability of analyzing relevant facts and chalking out future strategy. It looks like almost every problem that haunts a business can be solved by this ability to handle data and put it to productive use. Managements world over are trying their best to capture this data and help them to make informed decisions.
Organizations need integrated systems to optimize the big-data capture and usage. Real-time information along with institutional memories of employees can go a long way in making decisions about strategies for the future.
While Big Data has become a big catch phrase and everyone is rushing with business models around it, I will be more interested in talking about how Businesses can integrate their Social Media Information into this and ways to capture them and use big data to achieve business goals and bottom-line.
What do you think? Feel free to share your views.