Big Data is a term related to big size of the data both in terms of exponential growth and availability. Apart from the size, the other important aspect of Big Data is the lack of structure and its non-availability in traditional formats.
Due to large volumes and a lack of structure, there are challenges which the current organisations face in terms of imposing structure on Big Data and then converting it into relevant insights, innovation to be of any business value. Conventional terminology used to describe and analyse data has evolved from Decision & Executive Support to Business Intelligence and Analytics to Big data today.
Big Data is in great demand today. Organisations that have a direct interface with customers related to consumer products, or service companies like Insurance, online, travel, etc., have proven results in using Big Data for cost reduction, better time management in business processes for greater efficiency, new product and service offerings etc.
Currently, sectors such as Finance and Banking, Telecom, Modern Retail Formats have started to use large amounts of Big Data available in a more organised way.
Innovative organisations are using Big Data for mitigating operational business problems, competition intelligence & tracking, improving customer services, especially in manufacturing set ups et al.
It is also used for developing insights into consumer trends for effectively engaging the customer and improving their overall experience with the product/service across major customer touch points effectively. Due to large seamless potential and a credible track record in improving overall business efficiency,
Big Data will be in greater demand in the coming years across many more sectors.
Organisations are realising the importance of Big Data and are getting ready for adoption. First of all they are defining what aspect of it makes sense to apply to the business and then finding most reasonable and economical ways to do so.
Most of the large consumer organisations already have large, unused and unstructured consumer information on various aspects via existing business processes.
These organisations have sensed the need for new organisational structure to accommodate Big Data, realising that the data, technology and people are all somewhat different than the traditional analytics, which was a pure IT function. Organisations are seamlessly integrating Big Data in marketing, sales, supply chain and other critical functions via its technologies such as Hadoop, Map reduce, Visual Analytics, In Memeory Analytics, etc. for achieving their business and marketing objectives.
Big Data and the Retail Industry
For consumer and retail organisations, which have a direct interface with consumers, Big Data Analytics can go a long way in revamping the sales and marketing functions.
Using advanced data analytics, organisations have a better clarity on how individual marketing functions and various trade channels have contributed to the overall revenue. The marketers, as a result, are more informed on ROI for marketing spends across various channels, including retail.
Customer and business Insights has become an important tool in marketing, and organisations are seeking customer opinion via frequent interactions for pre- and post-marketing activities of all kinds.
Organisations can collect meaningful data about the purchase/loyalty behaviour of customers to manage the overall marketing function better. Video analytics, too, is an important tool in this regard.
The Retail industry should manage and leverage huge amounts of data from sources such as CRM, Web Analytics, Search Marketing , Mobile Apps, Social Media etc. to have a differentiating edge in terms of customer preferences, new product development and management of market share.
Something’s Got to Give
Big Data implementation comes with its own set of challenges. Advanced IT architecture and technology implementation comes at a certain cost. Big Data implementation requires a different way of orientation and culture within the organisation. Real time data management is very different from traditional analytics, both in terms of data management and swift actions required to actually improve the business processes.
In addition, as per experts there is a shortage of data scientists in India, both in the private as well as the Government sector, particularly in areas such as Agricultural and Clinical research.
Big Data Analytics require a special expertise other than the conventional information management and analytics. Some of the new technology trends like Computing Everywhere, Internet of Things, Cloud Computing and Real time data analytical tools such as Storm, Gridgrain, Space Curve etc. are likely to have significant impact on organisations in the coming years.
Lastly, it would be difficult to say that the entire business landscape will change with the coming of Big Data and Analytics, but one cannot ignore its potential. Large organisations have already started working on the Big Data lessons from large online firms and Big Data start-ups which originated the idea of data products.
Big Data Analytics is here to stay with high potential coming in from sectors such as Telecom, Retail, B2B, Healthcare etc. that have traditionally been goldmines of consumer and business data to shape and transform their strategy.
Article by: Joginder Chhabra Head, Market Research and Consumer Insights LG Electronics, India