Big data is an asset — but only if you use it the right way

As data continues to grow exponentially and technologies (such as cloud) emerge to help IT handle the crush, many enterprises are hopping on the big data bandwagon.

But some enterprises lack the internal skills for data management and analysis. Others may lack a data strategy, believing that insights somehow will emerge merely through the collection of data.

Data, however, doesn’t manage itself, volunteer analyses, or suggest courses of action. So enterprise data managers, strategists and scientists must step up to take charge of this critical business asset.

Over at Entrepreneur, Marius Moscovici, founder and CEO of Metric Insights, offers some advice for business owners who want to leverage big data. First he notes that mastering big data isn’t an overnight process. That’s why some enterprises will start with a small project and build upon what they learn.

Marius emphasizes the importance of approaching big data “within the context of the customer.”

“Data assets might look different in each industry, but the real value of the data lies not in its type but in whether it can help you increase your value or retain customers,” he writes.

To determine if your data is accomplishing either of those objectives, Marius suggests assessing whether it is enabling the business to do these three things:

  • Predict and anticipate (demand, inventory, returns, etc.)
  • Replicate success by detecting and leveraging patterns in customer data
  • Increase and improve customer engagement (through customization and personalization)

Big data offers enterprises deep and valuable knowledge about their customers’ needs and wants. But while data can be easily generated and collected, it provides no value unless it is applied to specific business challenges and goals. As Marius concludes, “Entrepreneurs and executives looking to put their data to work need to organize the information in a way that unveils insights and opportunities for the future.”

Has your enterprise successfully turned its customer data into a business asset?

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