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Big Data in business strategy

Data or Big Data?

Let’s clarify first, if you're receiving information that you can plug straight into a spreadsheet, revenue, for example, that's data, plain and simple. Big Data is still data, except it's an almost unmanageable volume and variety of data at high velocity, where traditional data processing methods aren't enough to make sense of it. Big data applies to companies with multiple streams of data coming in; it could be text, audio, images, some digital, some analogue. This usually requires dedicated resources to break down and report the finding of the data. Today we're talking about how to incorporate big data with the strategies you prepare for your business. 

Set out your problems you want to solve and tailor your data capture around it.

More data isn't always better. However big your data analytics team is, it’s not a good use of their time to be trawling through irrelevant data trying to pinpoint an insight for your operations. Set out targets, identify the information you need to solve the related problems. Then build your data capture strategy around capturing data at the source of those issues. This can lead to more innovative ways of integrating data gathering into business operations. For example, a 20% discount on products will increase sales. A 20% coupon, with a unique code related to where it was promoted increases sales and enables you to track the effectiveness of communication channels.

Data can influence more than your sales numbers.

There's plenty of ways to gather data that affects your approach to sales and you'll be tempted to focus on this approach because of a more direct return on investment. But if you are able to gather the information, use big data to influence other parts of your business. From an HR perspective, you can analyse employee retention and how appealing your company is to work for compared to competitors. For IT, is your hardware cost-effective or are your savings being spent on maintenance or are you losing man-hours to slow computers? Big Data encapsulates all these small nuggets of information so it's worth the time of a data analyst to break down and explore the expanse of data you have available to try and build a more efficient business.

Be prepared to act on the insights you discover.

The fact that you're building your strategy shows that you're taking a considered and patient approach to where you want your business to go next. Apply the same principles to analysing big data. Try to spot the fundamental causes of issues in the data, quick fixes could lead to bigger problems down the line. Use your analysts, listen to their opinions of what could be causing certain results, consult with your management team and act accordingly.

Hopefully this has helped you understand the decisions that big data can help to influence. At Capita IT Resourcing, we value the input that data can have on business operations and we're always looking for bright minds to join the team, if this sounds like a good opportunity to you, get in touch.

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