Big Data is the new business buzzword. The year 2014 saw Big Data reinforcing its impact on business and scaling new sales figures. Big Data and Analytics have created several opportunities in the business world in the last couple of years and are showing promises for many new opportunities in the coming years.
Let us have a look at the impact of Big Data, how it facilitates analytics, the challenges faced by Big Data and the emerging business trends where Big Data will have an important role to play.
The impact of Big Data
Big Data is on an ever-increasing rise. It is growing in volume at an astounding rate due to the emergence of new technologies and tools. As a result, new opportunities are developing for IT companies and providing business with a new option to make strategic decisions.
Big Data can be described to be a combination of three things – unstructured data, new resources of data and analytics that is applied to evaluate through this data and make use of it.
The main impact of Big Data has been to make it possible for companies to process massive quantities of data that would not have been impossible to analyze otherwise. This means, Big Data provides a scope for Analytics that was non-existent earlier. It also helps to analyze data at a great speed.
Big Data also got a shot in the arm due to the emergence of cloud computing. As a result of the technology of cloud computing, the cost of having physical computers for the analysis of Big Data was greatly reduced. Technologies like cloud computing made it easier and faster for several businesses to employ Big Data effectively.
Therefore, Big Data can be explained as a process that deals with the formation, storage, retrieval and analysis of data that can be marked in terms of volume, variety and velocity.
How Big Data Facilitates Analytics
The driving force of Big Data is Analytics. It is analytics that provides the means to test and analyse datasets of unprecedented volume. Analytics helps to arrive at conclusions, make inferences, predict trends and discover correlations between various data points.
Analytics is a powerful means for business as it allows business to exploit the power of advanced statistics derived from different data sources. Moreover, it does not require the use of a huge team of data scientists and statisticians. It even allows the processing of information in real time.
In case of business, analytics can help to answer crucial questions by the method of analysis of data rather than depending on guesses and experience to answer those questions. As such, Big Data and Analytics can help to make tactical and planned decisions related to business.
Let the Figures Speak
The year 2014 has been a great year for companies using Big Data. Analytics has played a great role in several aspects of business. Be it issues concerning manufacturing of products, streamlining production, increasing quality of products or other aspects of business, analytics has played a crucial part.
The impact of such a trend has been that new opportunities have come up for vendors existing in the Big Data business. There has been a sharp increase in the market for Big Data software, hardware and professional services.
In the Big Data market there has been an increase in sales in the ratio of 58% in 2014 as compared to the sales in 2013. The predictions for 2015 forecast an increase of at least 30% growth over the figure attained in 2014.
The forecast says the Big Data market will continue to grow at a healthy rate of 30% for the next 5 years, which is a very positive sign for the people involved in the industry as well as those who are planning to enter the industry.
What are the challenges faced by Big Data
Though Big Data has been on the rise for the last couple of years, there are quite a few areas where it is facing challenging situations.
One primary challenge faced by customers or businessmen when they try to process Big Data is that there is no fixed standard among vendors regarding Big Data. This means that there is a lack of common approach and common tool. For a huge and emerging market like Big Data, this is definitely a big problem.
Another crucial challenge of Big Data is to devise a method that will separate useful data from data that is of no value or no use. It is a very important step for analytics to function effectively. It requires effort, time and proper technology and tools to separate valuable data from the clutter of all kinds of data.
However, there are ways through which solutions for such problems and challenges can be achieved. One way to overcome these challenges is to develop Application Programming Interface (API) that will permit programmers to gain access to the same data storehouse or repository using diverse programming languages. Such an API will make it a simple task to manage the data pipeline.
Big Data and Emerging Business Trends
Any business that wants to remain competitive will have to remain updated with the effective trends entering the market, like Big Data. It is true that there is still a major chunk of the business world that has not taken up to using Big Data and deriving benefits from its use.
But the potential that Big Data promises will be very helpful for business to achieve their targets and remain ahead in the competitive race. Some of the new business trends and business areas where Big Data can prove to be really effective are:
Big Data and Pricing Decisions – One major business area where Big Data can have an impact in business is in the pricing of products. Generally, companies follow the traditional method of setting prices of their products by basing it on the cost incurred for bringing out the finished product.
Big Data Analytics can offer a much better solution to the issue. It can determine prices based on the optimal price the customer will be willing to shell out for the product.
New technologies and new resources of data makes it possible for Analytics to study individual deals and individual receipts and come up with the best possible pricing options for a product.
Some other businesses that hold possibilities for use of Big Data and Analytics are:
- Wireless monitoring of health that will be helpful for doctors as well as patients
- Mobile digital assistants that will be useful for accomplishing several tasks online, including filling out of data on web sites and other such tasks
- Keeping track of children’s progress at school and comparing their progress to other students by concerned parents
- Increased use of mobile payment systems that will be a better option against the less-secured credit card systems, that are being increasingly hacked
There is no doubt over the fact that Big Data is here to stay and it is indeed a big business. While some companies are yet to recognize its potential, the early birds who took up Big Data have already started to taste the success due to it.
Some others have started to look out for new opportunities where Big Data can make a major impact and are coming up with new ideas every day. With the upward trend and growth of Big Data, it is no surprise that Big Data and Analytics will surely be a point of focus for business in the coming year and beyond.