All The Different Ways Companies Can Use Big Data

Big data analytics is the process of examining large amounts of data to find trends, commonalities, and differences that can provide businesses with greater insights to make decisions. Big data provides a bird’s eye view of the current trends in each business sector.

Big data helps companies in many ways. For instance, businesses can make important decisions more quickly as well as create more advanced technology with the assistance of big data. Companies that analyze data are able to maintain a competitive edge in the industry. Here are some of the many ways that businesses use big data.

Acquire And Retain Customers

customers
Photo by David Goldman via Getty Images
Photo by David Goldman via Getty Images

For any business, the key to success is to build a strong customer base. Hence, it is important to understand trends in the market and changing needs of the consumer. If a company is slow to learn about customers’ needs, then this affects the entire bottom line of the business.

This is where big data comes in. Companies are able to use their data to understand patterns and customer behavior. Studying this data, businesses can use their insights to create products to meet the customer’s needs. This will help them acquire new customers while retaining existing ones.

Offer Marketing Insights

Offer Marketing Insights
Gilles Mingasson/Liaison via Getty Images
Gilles Mingasson/Liaison via Getty Images

Another important benefit of big data analysis is its ability to help businesses with their marketing campaigns. Many companies spend thousands on advertising each year but if it’s not targeted properly, it can lead to a lot of wasted time and money.

Hence, businesses are now using big data to make more calculated decisions when it comes to their advertising campaigns. They are able to understand who the target customer is and identify the best ways to market the product to them.

Assist With Risk Management

reviewing data for risk management
Twitter/martinwaxman
Twitter/martinwaxman

In today’s competitive business environment, there is an element of risk attached to everything. Risk management has become incredibly important for companies in every sector. The ability to identify and mitigate risks can help companies save a lot of money.

Big data analytics provides various tools that can help companies manage risks. They can also quantify these and model them to suit a particular area of the business. In order to successfully mitigate risks, companies need to have a proper structure to easily assess vast amounts of data.

Product Development And Innovation

Product Development And Innovation
Mark Wilson via Getty Images
Mark Wilson via Getty Images

Every business needs to grow and change to keep up with the latest trends and a large part of this lies in developing new products and services. Companies spend large amounts of money on research and development every year and big data analytics provides greater insights on what to focus on.

Instead of going with a hunch or with gut intuition, companies can make more informed decisions about product innovation and development.

Supply Chain Management

trainyard
Daniel Berehulak via Getty Images
Daniel Berehulak via Getty Images

While companies can gain a lot from big data analytics, it is also useful for suppliers as well. Through big data analytics, supplies are able to streamline their supply chains, making it easier to handle large customer orders. Before data analytics, a mix-up in the supply chain could lead to large losses but big data provides the necessary intelligence to avoid this.

Big data analytics is useful for suppliers that have a complex supply chain that is based on knowledge sharing and greater collaboration. The information provided by big data can help improve the current supply chain operation.

Predicting Employee Success

employee receiving an award
Photos by Gilles Mingasson via Getty Images
Photos by Gilles Mingasson via Getty Images

Big data analytics can be used to gather external data about customers but it can help businesses internally as well. Many HR departments use data to monitor their employees and predict employee success. They can create profiles of employees and quantify the performance of the workers.

Big data allows companies to do a deeper analysis of their employees, including their browsing history which is an indicator of their future performance. Additionally, HR departments of large companies can collate information about their employees for performance reviews.

Identifying Lifestyle Changes

Shoppers purchase their items at the checkout counter in the Target department store
Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Big data analytics has the ability to provide extreme customization when it comes to marketing to a target audience. When customers are targeted with just the right ads and promotions, it helps increase brand loyalty, sometimes over a lifetime.

Big data provides valuable insights to customers that allows them to market to consumers at a precise level. This is possible with algorithms that use big data analytics to make assessments and predictions.

Improve In-App Purchases

A smart phone with the icons for the Amazon apps
Yu Chun Christopher Wong/S3studio/Getty Images
Yu Chun Christopher Wong/S3studio/Getty Images

While many apps are technically free, they might offer in-app purchases when players wish to upgrade the app or use additional features. Big data analytics provides the ability to collect information about app users and this gives developers insights that can be used to improve the app.

For example, big data analytics can track the exact actions a gamer takes before they decide to make a purchase on the app. If the user decides not to make the purchase at a certain step, the developers can identify the cause of the disconnect and make improvements accordingly.

Leveraging The Absence Of Information

Senior male enjoying Internet music at night
Jolie Zimmermann / Contributor
Jolie Zimmermann / Contributor

In addition to identifying the posts that a potential customer views and the type of content they like to see online, many companies also want to know why a certain post of on social media was not liked or was deleted. This helps companies know the type of content they need to avoid and which they should promote.

One group of researchers at Harvard collected all the posts available on social media channels in China using big data analytics and referenced them with the posts that were censored by the government. This allowed them to understand the type of content that was being censored in China.

Guiding Your Next Purchase

shoppers
Tom Pennington via Getty Images
Tom Pennington via Getty Images

Once a company has acquired new customers, the next step is to find a way to retain the customer and increase brand loyalty. This is where big data analytics can help as they can help companies guide their customers to their next purchase. Big data can allow information about the customers purchasing history to be sold to advertising companies.

Businesses can use this data to create loyalty programs and incentivize customers to buy more of their products. This also allows them to target the right customers. For example, a cereal brand would want to promote their ads to customers who bought their cereal at the local grocery store.

Learn About Customer Preferences

Photovoltaic systems are installed on the roofs of several houses
Fabian Sommer/picture alliance via Getty Images
Fabian Sommer/picture alliance via Getty Images

Satellite data can tell a lot about a certain neighborhood and values of customers that live in this area. Many companies believe that an aerial view of homes does not provide too much information that can help with marketing companies but one company, HaystaqDNA argues otherwise.

Using big data analytics the company was able to identify the number of residents that has solar panels on their roof in a certain neighborhood. This information would allow companies to know which homes were more environmentally conscious. Companies can then target these homes with personalized ad campaigns.

Track Location

traffic
David McNew/Newsmakers via Getty Images
David McNew/Newsmakers via Getty Images

Big data analytics is not just for businesses, it can be used for anything from the from travel to weather to traffic control. In crowded cities, big data can be used to assess the conditions of traffic and identify any troubles. This can also help them calculate data in real-time which is very useful for many companies.

For companies like Amazon that rely on their supply chain and delivery services to ensure customer satisfaction, having information about the traffic conditions in the cities they operate in can help them streamline their service and mitigate risks while improving the reliability of delivery.

Fraud Detection

A participant is seen using a computer ahead of the start of the Hackyeah hackathon
Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images
Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images

In the finance sector, security plays a huge role as companies store their clients’ sensitive data. These firms use big data analytics to predict any cyber-attacks so that they can take the right steps to mitigate the risk. By assessing the data of past attacks, companies are able to predict if any will occur in the future.

In addition to cyber-crimes, big data analytics also allows companies to assess any failures with internet banking. If there are any issues with the servers, big data analytics can help identify them so that banks can manage their transactions. Big data can also be used to identify any illegal trades on the stock market.

Entertainment And Media

netflix
Guillaume Payen/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images
Guillaume Payen/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

In today’s digitized world, we have access to almost everything on the internet, from entertainment to buying things and paying bills. For media companies like Netflix and YouTube, it is essential that they know the right TV shows and movies that will retain their existing customers.

This is done with the help of big data analytics which can study the user’s past viewing history and use the information to recommend new shows and movies. The ability to customize the platform at such a granular level is why these media platforms have taken over traditional cable TV.

Improve Accuracy In Medicine

a pharmacist
Joe Raedle via Getty Images
Joe Raedle via Getty Images

Big data also allows hospitals to improve the care they provide for their patients. The analytics helps monitor patients 24/7 with no need for any supervision. Additionally, big data also studies the types of medicines the patient has taken in the past to recommend new types of medications to prescribe.

When manufacturing medications, there are many elements in the process that can impact the final product. For many bio-medic corporations, there is a lot of time and money wasted in ensuring the final product is the desired quality. Big data analytics can help identify any elements in production that could result in an incompetent end product.

Create Government Programs

capitol building
MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images
MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images

Governments in every country receive large amounts of information every day. This data, along with other information like the census, demographics, and geographical surveys, lets the government learn about its citizens. The government is able to collate this information with the help of big data.

Big data analytics helps the government create welfare programs. It provides faster information in real-time, enabling speedier decisions. Additionally, it keeps track of the existing data and identifies any areas that require immediate attention so the government can take the necessary steps to mitigate the crisis.

Improve Weather Predictions

snowy day
STEPHEN MATUREN/AFP via Getty Images
STEPHEN MATUREN/AFP via Getty Images

Weather sensors and satellites are set up all around the globe which helps track and predict the weather and environmental conditions. This big data can be used in many different ways.

The information yielded by big data analysis can help companies study weather and global warming. In addition to this, it also helps them understand the patterns in natural disasters that will help them take the necessary steps to mitigate any future crisis.

Make Transportation More Efficient

train station
Scott Olson via Getty Images
Scott Olson via Getty Images

Big data can also help make the transportation system in a city more efficient in many different ways. For instance, big data can help officials understand which routes are used the most and create models to devise new routes that will help save time. In cities, big data can estimate the amount of traffic during peak hours and provide the routes that have the least amounts of traffic.

Big data can also help assess areas where there is an accident and divert cars away from this area so as to avoid traffic congestion. And Uber uses big data to collect information on its drivers, the amount of time required for the ride, and the level of traffic. A combination of all these factors helps determine the fare.

Crawl Email To Find Customers

email icon
Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images
Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Many companies like to know the type of emails people send and read to better understand their likes and preferences. This helps businesses target the right people with their ads. For example, if you send your friend an email about a clothing store, Google will crawl these emails and companies will then send you ads about clothing stores.

Google is able to crawl the emails of its users with the help of big data analytics which collects all the information in the email and collates it into a usable format. This makes it easier for companies to target new customers.

Banking And Finance

GettyImages-144186169
Spencer Platt via Getty Images
Spencer Platt via Getty Images

The banking sector deals with a large amount of information every day and research shows that this data will increase by 700 percent in the next year. Given that they deal with so much information, it would be impossible to collect and analyze the information without big data.

Big data helps banks to identify any fraudulent transactions and misuse of debit or credit cards. It also provides banks with more clarity on the business so that they are able to take the necessary steps to improve current operations. Additionally, big data also assists with risk mitigation so firms are able to avert any crisis.