Answering a Business Manager’s question – Is Big Data for Midsize Businesses?
I love the sound of Big Data; it is such a grand word! It is so grand that business of various types and sizes think this is not for us; it is for the big guys. My guess is midsize businesses will generally shy away from asking what is big data because of this reason.
Sure Big Data is about managing information that is vastly bigger than traditional analytics are used to managing. But it is more than that it is about gleaning information from disparate sources of information and producing insightful correlations.
How do you know that tweet that sent you sent out got re-tweeted, was posted on a LinkedIn account and someone who read this LinkedIn post clicked on your LinkedIn company profile and visited your web site and filled the contact us form!
Traditional analytic’s tools are were not designed to put all this together because the system captures information in silos. Companies often collect their sales, marketing or customer information but each piece is evaluated within its own context. Big Data that’s runs on elegant algorithms can segregate, combine and remove information using principles from applied mathematics. Sure it is complex, requires highly skilled professionals but whoever said it isn’t for midsize businesses.
The reality of the business world is that there is a never ending stream of information, it comes from varied sources, web and mobile, and it is not always structured. That brings us to the question of how should midsize businesses leverage Big Data to create a competitive edge.
A good starting point is to look at the infrastructure, consolidating the data sources but most importantly being ready with the questions that you want the Big Data to handle. Like large enterprises, midsize businesses too will need external experts to help. The moot point however is that Big Data can be the advantage for midsize businesses, if they learn to leverage it.
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