As a successful business owner, or an aspiring successful business owner, you will probably have access to a wealth of statistical data about your company’s performance. But what does it all mean? And how can you make the most of it? In this article we explain what big data and social intelligence are and how you can use both of these things to your advantage.
Summary: 5 Minutes read, Level: Expert
Any business hoping to compete in this day and age will have a colossal online presence. The advantages to this are numerous, but one of the main things you have working in your favour is big data. You are presumably using analytics on your site (if you’re not, you need to start using these tools immediately) and there is a mountain of data which you can obtain from this.
Data can come from multiple sources when you are operating online and what you need to be able to do is to understand, analyse and use this data in the best way possible. There have never been so many helpful ways which can be used to improve a business’s performance and you need to be on top of all of it. Don’t worry though. It’s not daunting and can all be learned relatively easily.
Big Data might sound like a massive, evil company that runs the internet, in the way that ‘Big Pharma’ is used as an insult for large, controlling pharmaceutical companies, but it is nothing at all like that.
Big data is actually a large amount of data. It is typically made up of sets of data which are too large to be analysed by traditional methods. It could be in the form of lots and lots of figures or graphics. This can seem terrifying, but this amount of data is excellent. The more the better when it comes to big data. All of it is useful.
The term big data was first used in the 1990s and can typically be several terabytes in size or larger. There are five factors associated with big data:
These are sometimes referred to as ‘The 5 Vs’ and can be quite challenging to deal with.
So, you’ve got your big data and you’re wondering what to do with it. This is where the challenge truly begins. Big data means nothing if you don’t know how best to analyse it and what it all means.
Luckily the world is full of tools which can help. It can take quite a while to manually go through all of your big data, so online tools can be very helpful. You will effectively be analysing the analysis, if that makes sense, but this will really give you the information you need to sink your teeth into. There are also a number of people who are real big data experts. They can help you to easily understand what your big data can be used for and how it can help you and your business.
This is also where the term ‘social intelligence’ comes in. Social intelligence is the insight which you gain from the analysis of data from social networks. There is a lot of information to be gleaned from reding comments to your posts and dealing with customer queries via social media (also known as social listening).
Your business or brand needs to fully understand how to manage its social media side and by having good social intelligence you can gain a great insight into the mind of users and customers. Social media is one of the biggest weapons in the armoury of a successful business. This can include key factors such as.
All of this information is invaluable to you and analysis of this is imperative in order to fully understand how your business works and how it can be improved.
Along with big data, social intelligence can seem difficult. But like everything else, it is possible to learn. It is well worth investing time now to save time in the future and to help your business to grow and improve.
We might not always be certain we are analysing big data in the most effective way, particularly when it’s a new game to us. That’s not to say that you should avoid it, because that would be quite foolish.
Big data has increased the need for information management specialists and some of the world’s largest computing companies such as IBM, Microsoft and Dell have spent more than $15 billion. By 2010 this sector was said to be worth just over $100 billion and has grown at an average of 10% each year since. The number of people with regular internet access, via either computer or smartphone, has grown exponentially. There are now an estimated 2 billion computer-literate people and all of these people going online contributes to big data. All of this can potentially involve your business and provide you with even more big data.
In house systems are said to be best for dealing with the management of big data, but if you don’t have the capacity for this, there are a number of ready-made systems which can help you. You will be storing a lot of big data and you will need a lot of space, but just imagine if it all existed in paper form – you’d need a warehouse several acres in size in which to house it all!