Big Data is often touted as a panacea; a universal cure-all to major business problems. As always, technology in and of itself doesn’t solve anything—it’s the ability to wield and implement it successfully against appropriate use-cases that delivers real business value.

Successful Big Data solutions leverage the key strengths associated with it; managing large volumes of data that is varied, and generated quickly and continuously.

Some of the smart business solutions that can be enabled using Big Data technologies include:

Customer analytics

Collecting and analysing data across a variety of channels—including structured information like transaction history and customer relationship management data, as well as unstructured information such as social media, blogs and videos—will enable your business to develop a thorough understanding of every customer.

This can deliver valuable insights into customer sentiment, predict behaviours that impact churn or conversion failure, and can help companies identify how best to manage relationships with individual consumers.

Big Data applications such as social media monitoring, and sentiment and behaviour analysis provide essential insights. By knowing in real-time what consumers think about their products or services, businesses can quickly take measures to maximise opportunities, or take any necessary corrective action.

Through the analysis of customer behaviour, location and demographics, Big Data enables the targeting of advertisements towards relevant and motivated customers. It also enables opportunities to give consumers a highly personalised experience, tailored to individual preferences and interests.

All of these approaches improve customer satisfaction, engagement, and sales.

Operational analytics

The Internet of Things (IoT) provides businesses with a plethora of additional data, as every Internet enabled device transmits operational and health data metrics continuously, or as events occur.

Big Data applications collect and analyse data across the IoT within your organisation to help optimise maintenance cycles and proactively predict failures. It can also be used to easily and effectively manage your supply chain, drive more efficient workflows and improve logistics management.

Data Warehouse (DW) augmentation

Most organisations use a DW to provide management reporting and insights. They are typically delivered using a relational database. Big Data technologies can extend an existing DW through a variety of functional improvements, including scale-out processing, off-loading aged data, and improved unstructured data source management. These enhance the DW environment by making it more responsive to changing business needs and giving it the ability to scale with increasingly complex logic and data types.

Summary

All of these Big Data solutions can be implemented across a wide variety of industries, including financial services, retail, telecommunications, logistics, manufacturing and healthcare. Recognising key business drivers, and identifying appropriate use-cases, will determine which of these smart solutions are right for your organisation.