Big data is data and that too lots of it, structure and unstructured. Big Data is hugely important for businesses, provided they are able to access the right data sets, analyze them and use it to their advantage. Go about it in the right way and your business can exploit the insights provided by big data for effective decision making.
The key here is to use the right Big Data tools, infrastructure and services to get your hands on the information that counts and see it through the prism of the various business processes/activities that you wish to improve. But the use of Big Data needs to be strategic in nature, which allows you to leverage its immense potential.
Here are 4 tips that will help you do just that.
- Changing the Way Your Organization Thinks
Out of the 71 percent of mid-sized or large companies , many are using Big Data to recalibrate their thinking and adopt an out-of-the-box approach with confidence. They are using Big Data analytics to make better sense of the massive amounts of digitized data available through various sources like business apps, public website, social media, external data sources, internal servers and more. Decision makers can draw a deeper understanding of what key organization stakeholders expect from the organization and deliver on their expectations.
Once you know what your stakeholders want, you are better prepared to change your thinking. In effect what you are essentially doing is using Big Data to put yourself in the shoes of your customers, suppliers, shareholders, employees and various other stakeholders. By doing so, you are recalibrating your thinking to suit theirs and thus ensuring you take decisions founded on cold logic and which are better placed to succeed.
- Using Big Data to Push Growth
The growth strategy by way of Big Data is dependent on the management teams being able to make sense of all the data in the company databases by using specific queries and analyzing a slew of aspects. These aspects can be related to inventory levels, turnover, purchases, overheads, finances, existing customer base, market reach and anything and everything else that will enable you to take growth centric decisions.
There are plenty of business intelligence tools available on the market that will help you use transactional data to run queries and conduct multidimensional analysis. Managers can ask questions to identify the most profitable demographic market and use this answer for micro segmenting potential customers to improve sales in that demographic segment. Big Data gives you an incisive idea of your business transactions and you can use it to make decisions that push strategic growth.
- Devise a Compensation Strategy
Do you know why your company gave you Y amount of bonus this year as opposed to the X amount you received last year? No, they didn’t pick a figure out of thin air but made sure that the bonus amount would act as a morale booster and is commensurate with the effort you put in to achieve the goals set before you. While at first glance this looks like a simplistic exercise, but it isn’t. Compensation should be fair and this is where big data enters the picture. It can be used to get an in-depth understanding of employee performance in relation to the sales figures achieved by the company.
The idea is to use big data to streamline the crafting of compensation/incentive packages and vetting them through the prism of business performance. What you can do is link your compensation strategy directly to your performance goals and the data streaming from your performance management system.
This ensures you adhere to a seamless compensation strategy that doesn’t interfere with your larger growth objectives and doesn’t boost your overheads to unmanageable levels.
- Risk Analysis
Business success is not just an outcome of performance management, but also being prepared for the risks your company will face in the near future. The social and economic factors that will challenge your company’s growth story need to be identified and a solution found for the same. This ensures you are ready to tackle them when your business actually faces these challenges.
But for this you need to look into the future and no there is no crystal ball gazing to be done here. What is needed is predictive analytics backed by Big Data that allows you to predict developments in the industry and a business’s market environment. You can forecast the growth of your business’s target market and prepare your business to deal with any challenge that can prevent you from making the most of this growth.
What is equally important is that it gives you a ringside view on how your customers are thinking about your business and whether their customer sentiment vis-à-vis your company will be positive or they’ll begin to look skeptically at your products and/or services in the future. Let’s face it, you can never be really sure whether a risk you’ve identified will actually come to pass or not, but Big Data ensures you prepare for an eventuality that you are reasonably sure will take place.
The benefits of Big Data are only limited by your imagination. You can use Big Data to engage with your customers better, re-develop your products to make them more customer-friendly, explore new revenue streams, and more. You will be best served by institutionalizing the use of Big Data, crafting a Big Data policy and strictly adhering to it.
(Deepak Singh is the Founder and President of AccuProcess Inc. that offers easy-to-use business process modeling solution worldwide.)