Big data is defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary as “an accumulation of data that is too large and complex for processing of traditional database tools.” Big data, however, is not only relevant to big companies.
Big data and analytics are transforming the modern marketplace.
Technological advancements have created an influx in data volume, complicated by the diverse set of data providers. With big data and high-powered analytics, companies can organize an overabundance of information, and optimize operations based off of the numbers. The data paints a picture of company health, client relationships, and protects through detecting fraud.
UPS is a primary innovator in the big data game. As early as the 1980’s, the company began tracking packages and transactions. In the last 10 years, UPS has further embraced big data and analytics, monitoring speed, direction, and braking on trucks, and relying on a complex online map data system. Their use of big data has resulted in reducing fuel use by 8.4 million gallons, cutting off 85 million miles of daily routes, and saving the company an estimated 30 million dollars. While investing in big data may be a simple, justifiable expense for large corporations, why is it important for small businesses to tap into this expanding information empire?
No matter the size of a company, once the amount and variety of data exceeds a company’s capacity to interpret the results, the company is at a disadvantage.
In order to survive in today’s competitive landscape, small companies need access to the same information that large companies do. Forbes Magazine states that 89% of enterprises believe that companies that do not adopt a Big Data analytics strategy risk losing market-share and momentum. Investing in big data, regardless of company magnitude, produces sizable returns. It is invaluable for companies to be able to numerically visualize their strengths and weaknesses and adapt strategy to strengthen company core.
Big data and analytics provide organizations with a magnifying glass and a crystal ball. The days of running a company based off of intuition are long-gone.