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What is Big Data?

Big Data is a term used to describe large, complex data sets that are so massive that they cannot be processed, organized, and utilized through traditional data processing methods.

Data can be any type of information that is generated through an organization’s business practices. For example, your data include anything from demographics of your customers to the times in which any customer made a purchase, dependent upon the size and nature of your organization. Any data set that is too large to be processed by your own capabilities qualifies as big data.

Who Uses it?

Unbeknownst to many smaller companies due to misconceptions about big data, it can be valuable to any size organization and applicable to businesses of any industry.  While its practices are generally seen as solely applicable for large enterprises, that simply is not true. Any organization that generates a fair amount of data could benefit from big data analytics, as it offers insights to trends that couldn’t be spotted otherwise.

The final misconception, that big data is solely useful to your IT department, is hurting businesses all around the world. This form of data can be utilized for any business process, not just the more technical ones. This porous idea is thankfully becoming less popular and companies are reaping the benefits in all areas of their company.

How to Harness the Full Power of Big Data

There are several different options available for you to begin utilizing big data analytics in your business practices:

First, consider what problems are arising in your business that could be mitigated by using more data. In addition to this, look at the gaps in your data where further analysis would best suit your needs. This will help you identify where you could use big data the most, therefore laying out what/where work needs to be done.

Next, create a set of KPIs (key performance indicators) that will allow you to properly assess if your analytics endeavors are successful.

After your problems are identified and criteria are created, you will probably need someone who specializes in big data analytics. This can be done through a direct hire or through staff augmentation, dependent upon the timeline of your needs.

Big data analytics are currently transforming the way that the world does business. By offering a more holistic view of your company’s data, you will be able to analyze new trends and discrepancies that could otherwise not be found. Once you have identified the areas that need to be expanded upon, you may then be able to take steps towards improving these processes and by extension, your organization as a whole.

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