Big Data – What is it and Why is it Important – Part 3


In the previous articles (part 1 and part 2)of this series we introduced the idea of Big Data as a seismic transformation in how information is captured, processed, and disseminated throughout all levels of society. We also looked at the origins and expansion of Big Data as a direct corollary of the internet. The rapid expansion of the World Wide Web represented during the era in the 90s and then into the next decade with the emergence of social media and networking, led to the production of enormous amounts of information. We’ve reached the point now where Data is even classified as an asset or commodity that can be traded. In this current installment, we want to focus more specifically on the “why is it important” part of the title– especially as it relates to business strategies.


Big Data = Big Money!


After hearing all the Big Data buzz someone might shrug their shoulders and say, “Big Deal – my business isn’t going to be impacted by this anytime soon.” If this is your approach, please think again!  As reported last fall by Gartner and passed along through most major IT news channels, the economics of Big Data are momentous: Big Data will drive $232 billion in spending through 2016. It will directly or indirectly drive $96 billion of worldwide IT spending in 2012, and is forecast to drive $120 billion of IT spending in 2013.


big data 2


Accessing Big Data means that businesses can gather additional insights, perspectives, correlations, and trends in order to inform their decision making. For example, say that a bank wants better optics on processing credit applications. It can leverage Big Data to scan public records, social media, and other online resources to detect potentially high risk applicants. The same concept is being applied in the insurance vertical to detect fraudulent and exaggerated claims.


The basic upshot here is that businesses of all stripes must get onboard with developing their Big Data strategy or risk falling behind their competitors. For a comparable analogy, consider that social media was almost unheard of 8-10 years ago. And yet today no one would dare run a business without a social media strategy. The same dynamic is happening with Big Data but with an even greater sense of urgency. No conscientious business owner can afford to be without a Big Data strategy, period!


Come back for the final article in this series.


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