Big data is changing the competitive landscape. Those who are in a position to take advantage of it often get to market faster with products and services that are better aligned with customer needs and desires. A 2014 Gartner survey found that 73% of respondents had invested in -- or planned to invest in -- big data in the next 24 months, up from 64% in 2013. Improving customer experience and process efficiencies are the top two priorities cited by respondents.
Customer experience improvements are happening online and offline, with data being collected from smartphones, mobile apps, POS systems, and e-commerce sites. With the ability to collect and analyze more data, and more types of data, than ever before, businesses are in an unprecedented position to quantify what works, what doesn't work, and why. And, the ones that are the most agile are adjusting their business strategies as necessary to increase or maintain marketshare. When executed well, customer experience improvements can help boost customer loyalty and revenue growth. On the other hand, if a company chooses to disregard what the data is indicating, it may well lose customers and deals to a more agile, data-savvy competitor.
Process improvements continue to focus on efficiency gains, cost savings, and product or service quality. Here, big data can provide more and deeper insights than traditional systems because there are more data points and data sources to analyze.
Whether a company is trying to drive revenue, speed time to market, optimize its workforce, or realize other operational improvements, the goal is to become more proactive and less reactive, which means using predictive analytics to shorten the learning curve.
There are many ways to improve operations using big data. Here are six of them.