When we talk about “big data” what do we mean? For businesses, big data is about taking large amounts of information and using the latest techniques to analyse that data, identify trends and patterns, then use what you have learned to guide your future business strategy.
This is an increasingly popular way to do business as it takes much of the guesswork out of analysing your market and allows you to make data-driven decisions about your business operations. Done right, big data can make your business more efficient, more effective and more successful.
You might be wondering what exactly this means for your business. What sort of insights can big data give you? And just how much of a difference can those insights really make. To answer those questions, we look at exactly why big data matters for your business.
How big data works
Big data relies on collecting and analysing large amounts of information. This information can come in several forms and from various sources. Probably the most commonly exploited is a company’s own data – for example sales figures, including information such as prices charged, volume sold, times and dates sales were made etc.
Data can also be bought, allowing you to get a wider sample so you can draw broader conclusions and get insights into different ways of doing things. It can also sometimes be possible to analyse competitor’s data successfully to see where you might be missing a trick. This will generally include collecting publically available data, such as information included on their website or product listings.
Big data also needs effective analytics tools, which take the information you have collected and helps you draw insights from it. One of the most commonly known tools of this type is Google Analytics, which collects and interprets data about traffic to your website.
This can let you learn more about user behaviour across your site, letting you know which pages are most popular and get the best engagement. You can then learn from this to improve the user experience across your site and help steer customers to the areas where you want them to be.
This is the ultimate goal of big data: to generate insights that let you make positive changes within your business to offer a better service to customers and help you increase your profits.
How to use big data in your business
One of the key areas where data analysis can make a big difference to almost any type of business is when it comes to pricing. Every business has to weigh their prices against their competitors and market demand to achieve the best possible return.
Most companies will do at least minimal research into their competitors pricing, but even so, nearly a third of pricing decisions companies make fail to deliver the best price for increased profitability.
This is where big data can really help. By looking at hard data for the prices you and other companies charge and how this affects the amount of business generated, you can devise a more intelligent pricing strategy. This allows you to choose the optimum price to achieve the highest level of profitability, helping to make your business more successful.
There are a whole range of other ways big data can help your business, aiding you with everything from making your internal processes more efficient to boosting the level of service you can offer to your customers. With more and more new data analytics applications being developed all the times, the opportunities for exploiting big data in your business really are endless.
Making your business big data ready
According to one survey, 73% of businesses have either invested in big data or plan to do so. However, many businesses are not ready to take advantage of the opportunities presented by big data.
To get the most out of big data, you need to have the right resources and the right employees. In practical terms, this means making sure you know which programs can offer a benefit to your business and having the resources to use them – most often by putting in place some kind of cloud-computing with high speed internet to help handle the large amounts of data.
You also need to make sure you are hiring the right people and up-skilling your existing staff so they can effectively use big data and act on the insights it provides. This needs to be a key focus of your employment and development strategies if you want to stay ahead of the curve with big data.
Get expert IT support to help you make the most of big data
Looking for ways to start taking advantage of big data in your business? We can help you seamlessly integrate big data solutions and other critical IT systems into your company, allowing you to take advantage of the latest technology in a safe, secure and stress-free way.
City Business Solutions are experts in outsourced IT security and support to the legal industry. We help law firms with a whole range of issues, including big data. We want to help you bring your business right up-to-date so you can focus on the benefits of new technology, without the hassle.
To truly take advantage of big data, you need the very best high speed internet for your business. This allows you to quickly transmit and receive large amounts of data or smoothly connect to remote resources, such as cloud-based data storage and analytics software.
To find out more about how City Business Solutions can help your law firm get your systems big data ready, please get in touch.