The act of collecting and analyzing data isn’t new. For years, companies have been amassing large quantities of information, from structured data on production, marketing, sales, HR, finance, facilities and operations to transaction-level data on suppliers, customers, and partners. But the concept of Big Data is revolutionary. And it promises to change the game for business, as it holds the key to unlocking answers executives have been seeking for years.
Out with the old
When it comes to traditional data analysis, there is the data we have and the analytics we need in order to figure out what the data means. And it is nearly impossible to find trends amongst the tens of thousands of lines of data most companies have spread across various systems. This is where Big Data and predictive analytics come in.
In with the new
Predictive analytics makes it possible to analyze data and create assumptions regarding what will happen, to not only predict the future, but to influence it.
Sound like a pipe dream? It is already a reality that is impacting lives. In Kansas City, for instance, a local police department has begun using data to attempt to stop crime before it happens by identifying crime “hot spots” and patrolling them more aggressively and monitoring the activities of recent parolees. They are also monitoring social media to identify “hot people,” or those most likely to commit violent crimes.
Predictive analytics is having a significant impact in the business world as well, as data allows companies to more clearly understand customer needs and adapt their business to accommodate them.
Take pricing: Few things are more critical to success when bringing a solution to market. Using predictive analytics, companies can predict equilibrium before releasing products, maximizing the revenue of the solution out of the gate while also understanding future demand.
Data is the new currency, and predictive analytics is the key to collecting dividends. Don’t be caught playing checkers while everyone else plays chess. Embrace the trend and reap the rewards.
For more insight on data analytics, see Data—The Hidden Treasure Inside Your Business.