Companies leverage mass amounts of information for analysis that lead to valuable insights about overall industry trends, consumer trends, and business processes.
However, there are a number of challenges that can arise in connection with the use of big data. Chief among them is the fact that big data lives up to its namesake: It’s big and is only getting bigger.
Big data is growing
Current research shows that individual consumers create over 70 percent of all data, 80 percent of which is archived and managed by enterprises. Just to illustrate the magnitude of this information, consider this: Over 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are generated each and every day. This comes from a wide variety of sources, including social media posts, GPS signals from mobile devices, digital pictures and videos, audio recordings, transaction records and data from supply chains and logistics.
In addition to the size of the information itself, big data comes with rising costs and values as well. This year alone, the average enterprise will spend approximately $8 million on initiatives specifically related to big data. All this will lead to 30 percent growth in big data spending on a global scale, which will reach $114 billion by 2018.
While this may seem like quite the amount to spend around information gathering and analysis, the benefits illustrate the importance of the use of big data within the corporate landscape. Businesses that leverage big data analytics are twice as likely to use this information for decision-making and twice as likely to have top-performing financials. In addition, these firms are also five times more likely to make their decisions faster than their competitors, and three times as likely to carry out these decisions as they intended.
Big data’s benefits and concerns
Besides helping to foster successful decision-making, research also shows that big data can assist corporations in gaining valuable insights about their customer behaviors. In addition, analytics can help businesses identify strategies to retain their customers and remain competitive forces in the marketplace.
Enterprises that utilize big data also have their share of concerns. These are primarily related to security and privacy, constraints on data movement and the level of control they have over their information. Many businesses also deal with a lack of trained data scientists who have the skill sets to leverage this information in the best ways possible.
Emerging business role: The data scientist
In the past, the term data scientist was a foreign concept for many businesses. Today, however, as the use of big data and analytics become increasingly essential in the corporate sector, companies need knowledgeable experts on staff to help them utilize their mass amounts of information appropriately. This has led to the emergence of big data scientists, or employees who are chiefly responsible for gathering big data, analyzing it, asking the essential questions and being able to gain insights from the information.
These individuals can be quite difficult to find, however, and oftentimes, a company is unable to take full advantage of a data scientist’s talent. Not to mention there are considerable costs associated with seeking out and hiring this individual. While it is important to have resources available for leveraging big data effectively, this may not mean the company needs a dedicated staff member just for this purpose.
SOASTA’s big data software fills the niche
Even if organizations do have a data scientist on staff, there is still a need for a better solution. Research has found that 50 to 80 percent of a data scientist’s time is spent “wrangling data” instead of using their time for better purposes – including discovering patterns, forming theories and testing them.
Whether or not a firm has such an individual on staff, they can benefit from a more efficient big data solution, which comes in the form of our Data Science Workbench. This platform has the ability to support the incredibly huge data sets that make up a company’s big data. In addition, the SOASTA Data Science Workbench can also quickly provide queries and analytics that are key for corporate decision-making.
Data Science Workbench is advantageous for use in any industry that harnesses big data, including retail, finance, health care, education, insurance, energy management and others. It can also be leveraged for a wide range of purposes, such as analyzing peak traffic on a company’s website, examining session paths, user scenarios and patterns, as well as for diagnostic and troubleshooting purposes.
The value that big data can bring can only be gained through the best solutions. Companies must have the skills to leverage their mass amounts of information in order to analyze and gain effective insights.
About the Author