Digital Growth Program

Understanding Big Data as a competitive advantage

Our increasingly intelligent and interconnected world is bringing huge changes to our lives and the way our businesses exist and operate. Through increasing business transaction processing systems, social media and online commerce to name a few areas, enormous amounts of data are now produced and collected. It has been estimated that more data was collected during 2012 than in the whole of the remaining history of our world.

What does that mean for businesses today and how can businesses innovate using the increasing amount of Big Data existing and available to organisations? Professor Andy Koronios of UniSA highlighted at a recent seminar for northern businesses how Big Data can be the most valuable asset an organisation can have, and that it can be transformative for those organisations that understand how to use it well.

Specifically, Big Data can provide higher volumes of accurate data to assist in better, more sophisticated decision making and assist with forecasting and prediction. It can also lead to narrower segmentation and help to provide customers with more precisely tailored products and services. It can also create new business models for creating value through new products and services.

So some practical advice when it comes to approaching Big Data:

  • Don’t let the ‘Big’ scare you.
  • Identify where your organisation is in terms of the data it collects and uses.
  • Ensure that your data is well managed and accurately captured.
  • Sharpen your organisation’s business analytics skills.
  • Focus on the biggest value opportunity where Big Data might deliver benefit.
  • Take small steps in working with Big Data.
  • Leverage free or nearly free tools to help you manage and work with Big Data. There are many tools available on the internet that can be leveraged to help organisations such as web analytics.

With these thoughts in mind it might be the right time to seize the opportunity to stop your organisation from drowning in data and to instead develop useful management information. Harnessing Big Data might just be your organisation’s first steps to innovation.

For further information and further detail from the Big Data seminar, please contact Lisa McDonald.

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