You’ve probably heard that Big Data is “the new oil”, or “the new natural resource”, and it is not at all surprising. Big Data has the potential to add value to your business operations and provide you with powerful new insights to make better decisions.
These days, the use of Big Data is vital to provide better customer experience and outperform your competitors. Among other things, it allows instant adaptability to ever-changing environment and narrower segmentation to provide more targeted products and services. What’s more, it can be used to analyze customer needs on a whole new level and opens pathways to create new products and services.
That is why, strictly speaking, using technology is not a question, as much as we do not choose to use electricity. The question is finding Big Data solution providers (read here more about it)that will help you win the competitive battle.
Things to consider before you buy
It is vital that you have a full understanding of what your company needs before committing to a Big Data solution. It is a big decision, and here are three things to consider before making a purchase.
- Do a self-assessment and analyze what tools you already have. What data are you lacking? What problems need to be solved? You want a clear understanding of what goals you want to achieve by solving these problems and how it will create value.
- Consult experts from every department to understand what data they need. Do not confuse a complex solution with a point solution: what you need is a system that addresses all the aspects of your organization and benefits all the departments. It is important to analyze these needs before you commit, because multiple point solutions may not interoperate, limiting the return on your investment and making future upgrades quite costly.
- Think about future proofing. The technology is rapidly evolving, and you need a solution that can be easily upgraded. Bundled solutions using best-in-class components will reduce the complexity of your system and guarantee its evolution with the changing technology and business environment.
What to look for in big data solution providers
There are hundreds of providers whose products vary significantly in cost and quality. Here are some tips that will help you navigate the Big Data solution market.
- Security of data. Stored locally or in the cloud, it needs to be secured and safeguarded against hacking or tampering.
- Data compression. Big Data is a big deal, literally: it requires a lot of storage space that can noticeably increase the total cost of ownership. That is why it is important that your provider uses comprehensive data compression technology.
- Ease of use and universal accessibility. An ideal solution should allow fast and easy setup and grant access to all the departments of your company that needs customer behavior analytics, not just the IT staff. This means it should have a friendly interface to make the retrieval of data a non-issue, whilst reporting formats should allow the export of data in the form of charts, graphs, journey maps and other forms that provide insights for all departments.
- Real-time analysis and Feedback. Knowing what happened last week is good, but it is important to understand what’s happening at this very moment to react immediately if need be.
- PII Readily Accessible. PII stands for Personally Identifiable Information, or, in other words, information that allows identification of the user it relates to. In May 2018 new data protection regulations will come into effect in Europe that place extra demands on tech companies. One of the key cornerstones under these regulations is a universal right to be forgotten.
- Scalability. You may require larger storage than initially planned. Check if you can upgrade your system at an affordable price.
These are just a few important tips, but you may also consider other options, such as using tagged or tag-less dynamic structure, and machine learning algorithms that provide automatic insights.
Big Data solutions may vary, but it is obvious that technology is not going anywhere in the nearest future. The use of Big Data has become the basis of competition and growth, enhancing productivity just as much as human capital and hard assets.
To remain competitive, you need to take data and its potential for creating value extremely seriously. That is why it is crucial to use your best knowledge and expertise to choose Big Data solution providers that offer advanced analytic capabilities that best suit your needs.