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Friday / October 15.
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An Appetite For Data

[IMAGE: GETTY IMAGES]

Information truly is power: Terabytes, Petabytes, Exabytes.  Who can keep track?  These strange terms have just begun to enter the business lexicon, but the hype surrounding them has reached a fever pitch.  We have undoubtedly entered the age of Big Data.

In a nutshell, Big Data is a term we are using to define a volume of data that is so massive, it is difficult to analyse and process using the spreadsheets, database management and software techniques we have used in the past. Yet Big Data is important because it will transform how we manage our enterprises. For most of the 20th century, business leaders relied on scientific studies and statistical significance to determine what information they could trust. Now, technology is making those assumptions obsolete and the practice of management will never be the same.

 

A Fundamental Shift

Like any new technology, there is a lot of confusion surrounding Big Data. There are endless debates about what is and isn’t Big Data, armies of consultants who are eager to muddy the waters in return for a hefty retainer fee and the usual amount of hype and alphabet soup of acronyms and buzzwords. But what you really need to know about big data is this:  It represents a fundamental shift in how we do things.  In effect, Big Data opens the door to a Bayesian approach to strategy where we no longer try to be right based on controlled research and small samples, but rather become less wrong over time as real world information floods in.

 

How Is Big Data Being Used?

Although the data itself is most important, what is crucial is the way it is analysed and utilised in business. There is an almost inconceivable amount of data available to us globally, which has sky-rocketed thanks to technology, social media and the Internet. However, only a small percentage of this actually gets analysed at current. The reason this is so important? It can all play a hugely influential role in generating new sales leads, growing your business, and boosting profit. Understanding your customer is one of the biggest parts of sales and running an efficient business.

 

Why Is Big Data Important?

What makes Big Data so useful to many companies is the fact that it provides answers to many questions that they did not even know they had in the first place, he said. In other words, it provides a point of reference. With such a massive amount of information, the data is able to be shaped or tested in any way that the company sees fit. In doing so, organizations are able to pinpoint issues in a more comprehensible form. Collecting masses of data and finding a trend within the data allows the businesses to move much more quickly, smoothly, and efficiently. It also allows them to eliminate problem areas before those previously elusive issues pull their profits or reputation through the proverbial mud.