Big Data Business Value

As part of my part time Specialist Diploma in Big Data Management, we were asked to write a blog post about our thoughts on the trends of big data, and how it can help companies increase their business value. Just thought I’d share it 🙂

Question 1: How does big data help in a company’s performance?

Data is the new oil, and companies are already collecting a lot of it without much effort. Operation logs from production systems, inventory systems that monitor how much stock of a particular product is remaining, and HR systems that track past and present employees – all these data sets are invaluable to companies that own it. Big data helps to improve a company’s performance by allowing holistic and informed decisions to be made, ensuring that they maintain competitive and ahead of their competitors, allowing them to grow their market share and get better ROI for equal or less effort put in.

Question 2: What would be the business value for Analytics?

Big data analytics will help companies be much more efficient and intelligent than they are right now. Depending on the business domain, big data can give insights to current operations and processes to achieve better ROI, faster turnaround time, higher profits and revenue, happier customers, and lesser operations cost with just-in-time paradigms. Ultimately, big data analytics enables companies to achieve more than that they can today.

Question 3: What do you think about the difficulty in increasing business values?

I think that while the difficulty of analytics increases as the business value increases, the potential it can bring to the company is many fold. One of the many reasons that the difficulty increases is the amount of storage, and the speed of analytics, versus the amount of business value it can bring. While more data is definitely good for the accuracy of analytics, the cost of storage and the turnaround time to analyze it may cancel out the gain in business value. Thus businesses need to draw a line between how long they should keep the data vs. when they should act on it, as well as cost effective strategies (e.g. tiered storage policies) to ensure that the value gained from analytics is not lost to the cost of it.

Question 4: How is business value related to the age of data?

Based on the second image, as the age of data increases, the business value decreases. I believe there are two sides to the coin. Given the 4Vs of data, one is not wrong to say that the longer we keep the data before taking action on it, the less value it has. The trends of today may not be the trends of tomorrow, and will definitely not be the trends of the next month.

However, the other side of the coin is that given the increasing volume of data, more complex analysis can be done (e.g. generating models using predictive analytics). These insights can be fed-back to the current operation processes to prevent/repeat such incidents, depending on how the company’s desired outcomes.

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