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How Does Big Data Help Companies?

Numerous articles have been written extolling the virtues of big data and speculating on how it will completely transform our world. The every day, in-the-real-world uses of big data, however, might seem out of reach for the average business. I outline five very concrete, very useful ways big data can benefit any business in this article.

The following five ways are five general ways that big data can help your company:

improving business decisions

  • Recognizing your clients
  • delivering more intelligent services or goods
  • enhancing operations in the business
  • earning a living
  • Let’s examine each application in turn and look at some real-world examples of how big data has benefited businesses.

Making better business decisions

Because of big data, businesses now have the resources they need to make more informed decisions based on facts rather than hunches or feelings. However, for this to occur, all employees within the organization must have access to the information required to enhance decision-making. This means that business users across the organization should be able to explore and query data to find answers to their most pressing business questions, rather than being limited to IT departments and business analysts. The term “data democratization” is frequently used to describe this type of company-wide data access.

 

A great example of this democratization of data in action is retail behemoth Walmart.

Importantly, though, Walmart gives its employees controlled access to data, ensuring that non-techies won’t be overpowered by information and can quickly find the solutions they require.

 

How does this function in real life? A state-of-the-art analytics hub, Walmart’s Data Café allows users to slice and dice hundreds of streams of internal and external data to produce insights. Teams from across the company are encouraged to bring their business issues or questions to the analytics experts at the Data Café to receive a data-based response. For instance, one grocery team turned to the Café for assistance when they couldn’t figure out why sales in one product category had abruptly decreased.

Understanding your customers

Consider the amount of data Facebook has about your life and how it uses it to make suggestions that will be helpful to you. This exemplifies one of Big Data’s main benefits: the better you understand your customers, the more effectively you can serve them.

 

For the benefit of resort visitors, Disney is using big data technology to better understand how people behave in its theme parks. The invention of the MagicBand has made all of this possible. All guests need to do to pay for something, enter a ride, or access their hotel room is swipe their wristband across sensors. These guest wristbands also serve as ID, entry passes, room keys, and even payment devices.

Delivering smarter services or products

When you know more about your customers, you can create more innovative products or services to meet their needs. This is part of Disney’s MagicBand initiative.

 

Big Data is also being used by the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) to provide its clients with better services. A typical bank knows a lot about its customers, including their purchasing habits and vacation destinations. RBS is starting to take advantage of this knowledge’s potential to better serve customers.

 

I appreciate that RBS’s Big Data strategy is not intended to upsell customers on more financial products to extract more money from them. Instead, it’s about improving customer service and helping them save time and money.

 

To identify instances where customers may be paying twice for a financial product, such as paying for travel insurance that is already included with a bank account service, transactional data is examined, for instance. Staff at the branch and call center can then provide customers with personalized, timely recommendations.

RBS’s initiatives encourage customer satisfaction and loyalty, leading to a healthier bottom line even though they may not directly increase revenue.

Improving business operations

Robotics and automation may be obsolete in industrial settings such as factory production lines. However, many other business industries and functions are becoming more automated and efficient. Big Data is the foundation for this rise in automation.

 

Let’s use HR as an illustration of a business function that is utterly human. A wide range of people-related processes, from hiring to learning and development, has the potential to be completely transformed, or at the very least, enhanced, by the use of big data and automation. For instance, chatbots are already used to respond to frequently asked questions by employees, and AI-driven training programs can tell when a student is struggling to understand a particular concept.

 

Because of this, the HR software provider PeopleDoc has released a Robotic Process Automation platform that works in tandem with already-installed business systems and constantly “listens” for tasks or events that could be automated. In this way, computers or algorithms can carry out tiresome, repetitive tasks. Many articles have been written about how automation threatens jobs, but I’d like to take a more upbeat track. By automating repetitive but time-consuming tasks, skilled workers are freed up to focus on more innovative, strategic work that boosts the company’s value.

Generating an income

Big Data can be monetized to increase revenue or establish a new source of income, not just to improve processes and decisions and better understand customers.

Business entities and their customers are two groups with whom American Express deals. It handles more than 25% of credit card transactions in the US. Amex is currently using the data generated by these transactions to enhance business-client interactions.

 

For instance, its merchant services now offer online benchmarking and trend analysis tools to help companies analyze how they’re doing in comparison to their rivals and identify trends in their market. How does this affect Amex’s financial results?

For starters, it encourages more companies to accept Amex, which results in more transactions and income.

 

It’s also important to note that Big Data can help businesses save money. In actuality, Amex and other credit card issuers have saved billions of dollars by identifying and preventing fraudulent transactions with the help of data-driven fraud detection technology.

 

Big Data is not only assisting businesses in these five ways, but it is also accelerating the revolution in artificial intelligence (AI). In other words, as data grows, machines and algorithms have more information to draw upon. Businesses now have even more exciting opportunities to automate procedures, make wiser choices, satisfy customers, and more.

Wrap Up

Big data offers significant advantages to companies in various aspects of their operations. It enables informed decision-making, deeper customer understanding, smarter product/service delivery, improved operational efficiency, and revenue generation. By democratizing data access, organizations empower employees to make data-driven decisions. Companies like Disney and the Royal Bank of Scotland utilize it to personalize experiences and provide tailored recommendations. Additionally, its’s automation and streamlined processes, such as PeopleDoc’s HR software, enhance operational efficiency. Monetizing big data, as seen with American Express, creates new revenue opportunities. Embracing big data is crucial for companies to gain a competitive edge and unlock growth potential.

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