Big Data: Catalyst for Business Growth

What images come to mind when you hear the words “big data?”  Do you think of massive database warehouses and engineers sifting through petabytes of data? Think again.

Big data has gone mainstream. “Big” and “data” used to mean “big” and “challenges.” But now they represent huge opportunities. Big data is driving advances in human genomic engineering and personalized health care. Engineers are using big data solutions to analyze complex data and to spur new IoT (Internet of Things) innovations such as self-driving cars. Organizations around the world are advancing their missions by exploiting big-data analytics to automate current operations and predict future outcomes.

Big data has far-reaching implications

Big data isn’t just for geeks and data scientists. Big data analytics can support decisions at all levels of the organization, from executive teams making strategic decisions to front-line employees interacting with customers in real-time. Financial executives can use real-time dashboards to better understand business performance. Sales teams can tap into big-data analysis to gain relevant customer insights. And line-of-business managers can work with big data analysts to test new business opportunities.

Future-ready companies are more likely to support their operational decisions with big data analytics than their counterparts at companies that are more focused only on present conditions, according to IDC research:

Big data improves outcomes

In IDC’s study, “The Future-Ready Enterprise: Driving Business Results Today While Preparing for the Challenges of Tomorrow,” the analyst firm surveyed various organizations and grouped them into four categories of future-readiness — Future Creator, Future Focused, Future Aware and Current Focused — based on their technology portfolios. The Future Creators (18 percent of the total number of organizations) had more of the advanced technologies, such as big data solutions, in their portfolios. At the other end of the scale, Current Focused companies had adopted fewer or no future-ready technologies.

Big data analytics enable companies to predict which customers are most likely to churn, which critical equipment is likely to fail and how weather conditions are likely to affect retail sales.  Future Creator and Future Focused companies use big data analytics to identify potential opportunities, react quickly to external events and improve future predictions — which help those companies achieve better results.

Well over half of the businesses identified as Future Creators use big data analytics compared with 34 percent of businesses identified as Current Focused:

Big data drives business

When companies can trust the quality of their data analysis, they can:

  • Inform strategic decisions with accurate assessments
  • Respond quickly to external conditions
  • Speed up customer service levels
  • Improve customer personalization
  • Automate many business decisions

Ready to take action?

Read more about how big data and other future-ready IT drive business results. Download the IDC study, review additional future-readiness information and plan your next steps.

About the Author: Scott Horst