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The Hidden Benefits of Big Data

Updated on August 31, 2015
Jonah Engler on Big Data
Jonah Engler on Big Data

If you know anything about big data, you probably already know that marketing companies are using data science to make your shopping experience easier and your daily life more convenient. But did you know Big Data has many other direct and indirect applications you may have never even considered? It’s true! Every day, Big Data is creating new opportunities, forging new ground and creating new possibilities. Here are just a few…

Big Data is literally creating new industries. Every new innovation comes with a spider web network of new ideas, perspective, supply needs, chains of operation and assorted business opportunities. Some new ideas even spawn entirely new industries. In the case of Big Data, the way people gather information – and the reasons – have expanded into entirely new territory.

Throughout much of history, businesses gathered specific data for specific reasons. They wanted to know who was buying, what they were buying and how much they were paying for it. They wanted to measure materials used and project next year’s costs and incomes. In all of these processes, there was – literally – incalculable amounts of data ignored. Data that could help industry was discarded, simply because nothing could be done with it.

Today, entire industries have evolved, able to take much of that discarded data and mine it for endless applications. Connections are made that were previously impossible, predictions are made that were previously improbable. Countless bits of data are being connected to make discoveries that, a few short years ago, were not even given serious consideration.

All of these Big Data advances have given businesses in nearly every industry access to more and better data. They can make better decisions because they are more accurately informed about a wider variety of aspects and operations of their business … and their customers.

But Big Data is not just creating “new,” it is revolutionizing “old.” Everything from supply chains to customer relations – two of the most fundamental aspects of any business – have been improved thanks to data science.

These advances have allowed companies to save money they previously wasted, increasing profits, while also establishing better relationships with customers. Keeping them buying more, more often and with more brand loyalty. As every industry moves to a more consumer- driven model thanks to online shopping and mobile tech, big data becomes even more valuable to businesses, large and small.

From customized offerings to on-the-fly customized point of sale presences, Big Data is changing the way customers connect with companies and products. Instead of wading through endless things they don’t really want, customers are connected with products and services they can actually use and already want to buy. This is done by accurately crunching the endless supply of disparate data constantly being generated by the way all of us live today.

Big Data is also helping businesses keep their equipment and maintenance costs down. Data science is being implemented in manufacturing plants and fleet repair shops to better predict when equipment will need to be repaired or replaced. Instead of sometimes wasteful maintenance schedules, equipment can be maintained and repaired when it is optimal to do so. This creates cost savings businesses can turn into profits or pass along to customers – or both.

As data science gets better at predicting based on individual practices, the potential for business will continue to grow.

Jonah Engler is a finance expert who embraces technology and social media.

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