How Big Data Is Helping Online Businesses

2019-11-12 by Finnegan Pierson

The global information network generates trillions of bytes of data every single day. In just one minute, 100,000 tweets are posted on Twitter, 300,000 users log on to Facebook, and Google gets over two million search queries. The  explosion of data can create challenges for many organizations as they struggle to maximize big data. Big data insights can improve the quality of patient diagnostics in a hospital, enable retailers to deliver a unique customer experience, help banks detect fraudulent activity before it happens, reduce warranty costs for manufacturers and dynamically compute insurance premiums based on driving behavior.


Big Data Analytics


Big data analytics enables businesses to manage the entire big data life cycle covering data management, data analysis and information delivery. Online businesses can use big data to drive business outcomes and direct implementation efforts on areas with the highest potential value. The benefits span the entire spectrum of big data technologies, including environments, applications, data warehouses, business intelligence, analytics, and visualization.


Data for Online Businesses


Let’s explore how big data solutions can work for a leading online home improvement retailer. The client's ability to provide a tailored customer experience was hampered by two constraints. The ability to uniquely identify each customer and the ability to capture and store web click history for more than six months. The cost and technical complexity of solving these two problems was prohibitive.


However, the business was able to use big data to design and implement a cost effective solution based on analytics technology. To achieve these objectives, once the solution was implemented, the client was able to develop a single view of each customer as well as conduct instant web scraping. The result was a personalized user experience for every customer and improved cross selling through insight based targeted marketing.


Cost and Time Reductions


Cost and time reductions are almost always going to increase profits. Hadoop and similar big data technologies offer huge improvements over the older tech, like data warehouses. There's a trend where big companies are using both the old and new tech together, and the result is lower costs. Just think about it. You can model and test millions of variations on a product and then simulate them instantly. The amount of time, money and effort saved is truly incredible. Big data analytics really turns up the dial on the efficiency of your business processes. For example, instead of replacing all the machines in a factory at an average breakdown interval, big data allows specific real-time checks to pinpoint specific machines or even individual components. Less downtime is less money spent.


Targeted Advertising


Besides improving existing service, big data also creates many new opportunities. For the first time, offline companies, as online companies have done for years, are trying to use big data insights to create new products and services. Sports teams are using data about who attended their live games and who's traveled to be there. Also, what extra activities fans are doing before or after the game, like which fast food chain is the most popular? This kind of data is invaluable for targeted advertising to get in the heads of customers. Another example is analyzing social media posts. This lets you know how people feel about your brand or the quality of your service.


Sell Your Market Insights


Another development is that companies can sell your market insights as trend data after stripping out all the personal information, so the data itself could be a valuable revenue stream. But these aren't the only benefits. Big data opens up dialogue with individual customers. You can tweak websites on the fly. It's easier to perform risk analysis, and your data is safer, not to mention initiatives like smart cities and personalized health care.


Likely, your organization is already collecting big data. Harness it properly and you'll be in pole position to reap the rewards.

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