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Riding the Data Wave
The information age is a shift from traditional industry to an economy based on information computing.

ABOUT 48,000 GOOGLE searches, 2.39 million emails, over 100,000 You Tube videos and 9133 tweets are done in a second! This rapid growth of information, also called the ‘Big Data,’ has revolutionised the way organisations and people operate.

Perhaps Mae West’s quote “Too much of a good thing can be wonderful!” isn’t far from true in the context of Big Data. With the availability of so much data, organisations are now able to generate insights to an unimaginable extent. The large repository of data has helped businesses to analyse meaningfully and interpret information, resulting in new businesses, increased revenue generation, better business practices, improved decision-making and increased customer satisfaction.

 

Data analysis helps risk-monitoring

To illustrate, many banks now use customer’s credit card transaction history to analyse customer’s habits and create relevant offers and discounts in stores and restaurants based on these data. Pricing decisions and cross-selling offers are made based on data generated by customer behaviour. Data also helps to analyse default patterns among customers and results in better credit collection and risk management process.

 

Data rules the world

In healthcare, big data is helping to monitor patients’ health history, proclivity to diseases and efficacy of medication. Pfizer, for instance, analysed data from interaction with physicians to predict prescriptive behaviour. Johnson and Johnson enlisted IBM’s Big Data service to enlist new drugs.

Similarly, the benefits of Big Data in retail and consumer goods industry cannot be over-emphasised. Inventory management, customer acquisition, cross-selling, targeted marketing and supply chain optimisation are some of the many benefits. With increasing usage of information, not only have revenue and operating margins gone up but costs have also been optimised.

A T Kearney forecasts that global spending on Big Data hardware, software and services will grow at a CAGR of 30 per cent through 2018, reaching a total market size of $114 billion.

Microsoft, Oracle and IBM are also expected to grow exponentially with big data solutions. The dramatic growth of Big Data is not without concerns. Organisations need to know the art of efficient manoeuvring through the huge dump of information to compete.

 

Privacy becomes an issue

Moreover, the concerns of safety, security, privacy and violation of copyrights loom large in the Chief Information Officer (CIO)’s mind. All said and done, given the innumerable information benefits, there is little reason to doubt that more and more organisations will gear up to ride the wave of Big Data in the coming years.

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