Of all the transformative effects the internet has had on the world of business, none is more dramatic than the proliferation of data it has enabled. From social networks to inventory management tools to internet-connected devices (the Internet of Things), data that will help businesses better understand their employees, customers, inventory, and processes are being generated at an exponentially faster rate every day. According to DOMO’s annual report on data generation, over 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are currently created every single day—and it’s estimated that by 2020, 1.7MB of data will be created every second for every person on earth.
That’s a lot of information that could stand to benefit your business. Over the past few years, we’ve already seen transformation on a massive scale thanks to how businesses are harnessing and utilizing the new wealth of data available to them. Industries such as retail, healthcare, and manufacturing have experienced a dramatic shift thanks to the impact of big data analytics software—but let’s start by looking at what it is, first.
Big Business Needs Big Data
“Big Data” is a term that has evolved to address the giant datasets that are now available to businesses and organizations and the inherent complexity that comes with attempting to analyze them. The average business now has so much data available to it that it’s impossible to analyze via traditional database techniques.
The explosion of data availability hasn’t made life easy for modern businesses; not only has the massive growth of data necessitated the need for organizations to store massive amounts of data, frequently collected from multiple systems—it’s also necessitated a new breed of software to make sense of both structured and unstructured data and extract meaningful insight for the business. The impact of data on business success doesn’t simply lie in the ability of businesses to collect the data itself. The impact relies on the businesses ability to leverage that data to uncover insights, including market trends, customer behaviors, and business patterns, that can be used as catalysts for better customer experience, improved operations efficiency, new revenue opportunities, advantages over competitors, and improved marketing efforts.
What is Big Data Analytics Software?
Big data analytics software helps businesses of any size, in any industry, sort through the endless flow of data available to them to highlight the relevant insights. Not only does big data analytics software help businesses keep tabs on their most important metrics and KPIs, but it also provides individual contributors with the visibility they need to make informed choices that can propel the business forward. Think of it as a historian, fortune teller, and advisor all in one.
From healthcare to manufacturing to retail and beyond, big data analytics tools are making a dramatic impact in organizations of any size. Let’s look at some of the ways:
With the ability to collect, monitor, and act on a scale of patient data only previously imagined, no industry has yielded benefits greater than healthcare—sometimes, it’s made the difference between life or death.
As hospital equipment has transitioned to digital and internet-enabled devices, the data generated in real-time from these devices has fuelled the need for big data analytics platforms to make sense of it all. Health data is being used to improve patient wait times, shorten hospital visits, and apply predictive analytics to at-risk patients with complex medical histories. Not only are big data analytics being used to improve patient outcomes through health data monitoring, but hospital staffing as well—hospitals all over the world are using big data analytics to track patient visits and wait times to ensure there is always enough staff on hand to provide the optimum level of service.
The new age of manufacturing has resulted in an opportunity to optimize every stage of the supply chain to make it more efficient and profitable. By utilizing internet-enabled equipment (or retrofitting internet-enabled sensors to traditional manufacturing equipment), manufacturers can leverage a data supply that helps them to monitor machine efficiency and health, perform predictive maintenance, limit downtime, and optimize production yield.
Big data analytics is also helping to revolutionize the logistics chain once the goods have been manufactured—including analyzing patterns and trends in the quality of manufactured goods, optimizing shipping and receiving time (whether to retail locations or the end consumer), fleet management, and intelligent routing. As more warehouses and fulfillment centers transition to automation as well (think Amazon’s KIVA robots), big data analytics software will provide businesses with insight into every stage of a product’s journey—from assembly line through landing in a customer’s hands.
Big data analytics is certainly having an oversized impact on retail businesses as well, as growing amounts of consumer and product data have married to provide consumers with a seamless experience, whether shopping in-store or online.
By utilizing big data analytics, retail operations are able to forecast product demand, identify trends in consumer purchases, optimize pricing against a database of millions of transactions, fuel recommendation engines for customers and drive additional sales, and enabling you to get them back in your storefront, whether digital or physical.
Whether you accept it or not, we are truly living in the era of big data. As operations scale and more opportunities to collect data are introduced, big data stands only to get bigger. The true competitive edge will rest with companies who first are able to collect and aggregate that data, and then access and analyze it in meaningful ways.
Regardless of your industry or organization size, big data analytics software is a method to cut through the noise of data and zero in on the data that fundamentally matters when it comes to improving your business. We know that because we’ve helped customers do it with Jet Analytics, our business intelligence and reporting software built for Microsoft Dynamics. It will give you fast access to the right data when you need it, without technical expertise or an expensive price tag. Watch the product demo below to find out how it works!