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The fuzzy ROI of Big Data technology can be a tough pitch for business stakeholders, but the potential for missed opportunities and dire consequences may mark major disruption, or even failure, to those organizations that ignore the path technology is headed. Big Data implications are business-wide across all departments, and will become a staple of nearly every industry. The proliferation of connected devices and competitive pressures will also urge non-tech companies (hospitals, banks, grocers, cattle farms), who have traditionally experienced relative ease in managing their modest data, to join other industries today in formulating and investing in a data-driven future.
Here are 3 reasons why businesses must be proactive today in formulating Big Data strategies:
The Internet of Things will generate (and depend on) vast amounts of Big Data.
Billions of new connected devices will infiltrate global networks in the years ahead. This connectivity produces several opportunities for service providers, device manufacturers, and ISVs to form new revenue streams and better familiarize themselves with customer requirements and preferences. However, managing and leveraging this newfound data will be an eventuality best addressed by those immediately preparing to make the Big Data leap. Service providers will be forced to scale/adjust data infrastructures accordingly, and OEMs will need to embed connectivity in new products (such as shoes, forks, refrigerators) or with new protocols (4G LTE, GPS) to realize new real-world applications.
The competitive advantages are real.
A number of businesses are already utilizing Big Data technologies to enable broad enhancements throughout the enterprise and beyond. These same businesses also believe they concurrently reap a competitive advantage in differentiating and improving their products/services over others. For example, Hertz, a world leader in car rentals, was able to identify delays occurring for returns at specific times of the day at their Philadelphia location using IBM analytics solutions. This actionable intelligence helped Hertz appropriate staffing during those peak hours to ultimately facilitate greater customer satisfaction with reduced churn. Early Big Data adopters can achieve results like this possibly years ahead of their closest competitors.
Unstructured consumer feedback has real value.
Social media data, ranging from Facebook “likes” to tweets to manufacturer surveys, has become an integral component to measuring customer sentiment and product feedback. This data has the potential to increase customer engagement and (re)shape specifications of embedded components for future products. Big Data technologies also allow users to micro-segment customers to send targeted/personalized offers with the best chance of driving more business. These tools allow organizations to understand and predict consumer behaviors like never before.