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Big Data, maximise the potential for your business

Richard_Blamire

Online growth and the ability to capture and manipulate data like never before has led us to coin the phrase Big Data. Big Data is the latest buzz word in the internet world and something that already impacts on just about every UK citizen. It is something anyone who uses or trades on the internet should be conscious of.

Big Data can provide more intuitive and productive ways to communicate with consumers. Consumers are a tough nut to crack. They look around a lot before they buy, talk to their entire social network about their purchases, demand to be treated as unique and want to be sincerely thanked for buying your products. Big Data allows you to profile these increasingly vocal and fickle customers in a far-reaching manner so that you can engage in an almost one-on-one, real-time conversation with them. This is not actually a luxury. If you don’t treat them like they want to, they will leave you in the blink of an eye.

For example: when any customer enters a bank, Big Data tools allow the clerk to check his/her profile in real-time and learn which relevant products or services (s)he might advise. Big Data will also have a key role to play in uniting the digital and physical shopping spheres: a retailer could suggest an offer on a mobile carrier, on the basis of a consumer indicating a certain need in their social media.

Moving on from the sales function, Big Data can also help you understand how others perceive your products so that you can adapt them, or your marketing, if need be. Analysis of unstructured social media text allows you to uncover the sentiments of your customers, and even segment those in different geographical locations or among different demographic groups.

Imagine being able to customise your website in real time. Big Data analytics allows you to personalise the content or look and feel of your website in real time to suit each consumer entering your website, depending on, for instance, their sex, nationality or from where they ended up on your site. The best-known example is probably offering tailored recommendations: Amazon’s use of real-time, item-based, collaborative filtering (IBCF) to fuel its ‛Frequently bought together’ and ‛Customers who bought this item also bought’ features. LinkedIn also suggests ‛People you may know’ or ‛Companies you may want to follow’. And the approach works: Amazon generates about 20% more revenue via this method.

Of course all of these application have a very commercial edge. Looking further than commercial applications Big Data can offer tailored healthcare. Currently healthcare seems to be one of the last sectors still using generalised approaches. When someone is diagnosed with cancer they usually undergo one therapy, and if that doesn’t work, the doctors try another, etc. But what if a cancer patient could receive medication that is tailored to his individual genes? This would result in a better outcome, less cost, less frustration and less fear.

With human genome mapping and Big Data tools, it will soon be commonplace for everyone to have their genes mapped as part of their medical record. This brings medicine closer than ever to finding the genetic determinants that cause a disease and developing drugs expressly tailored to treat those causes — in other words, personalised medicine.

These are just a few example of the huge positive potential of Big Data, it is everywhere and on the whole it brings massive advantages to all.

Big Data has transformed so many areas of our lives for the better. If you are convinced of the power and potential of Big Data and predictive analytics, but still a bit hazy on what it can really do for you and your company, then get in touch with First Internet, we can help you realise the potential of the Big Data.

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