While every company uses data, some companies’ success and survival depend solely on its proper integration, utilization, and management. For these companies, research and education regarding major data-driven challenges, as well as sustainable troubleshooting techniques, is imperative.
Big Data & Analytics: At the Top of the Corporate Agenda
Over the last few years, terms such as “Big Data” and “analytics” have become widely used within the business world. Big Data refers to a new common trend where businesses accumulate too much data for their current processing applications. The utilizing, storing, and securing of this type of data has become a hotly debated topic. Analytics is a term that refers to the useful interpretation of patterns within data sets. Analytics works hand-in-hand with processes and applications to help deduce what the data, as a cumulative entity, can tell the prospective business.
3 Challenges and How to Manage Them
1) Using Data to Reduce Costs
One of the most difficult challenges for companies generating revenue off of data is finding innovative, effective, and simple ways to reduce costs.
Why is this a challenge for data-driven businesses? The major sustaining purpose for data-driven companies is to accumulate more data. Yet, as companies succeed in this endeavor and accumulate more data, the costs of maintaining that data also grow. These additional costs go towards many facets including hiring more personnel, acquiring better software systems, integrating efficient operating platforms, and investing in more security.
With that said, how does the root of the problem help to reduce costs? Understanding and analyzing data helps bring to the forefront underlying issues. For example, data is excellent at showing patterns of weakness such as processes that don’t work or are costing the company more than they should.
For example, per Tom Groenfeldt of Forbes Tech, a U. S. regional bank wanted to maintain a certain delinquent credit collection rate, while also reducing costs related to staffing and technology. After hiring a consultancy firm, and through investigative techniques using analytics from the bank’s data pools, the consultants were able to divine a simple solution. The bank was spending more money than it had to.
Therefore, data-driven businesses have a great opportunity for transparency. By turning a scrupulous and interpretative eye internally, and teaming up with a consulting firm that specializes in Big Data, data-driven businesses can use harvested data to discover weaknesses and potentially reduce costs.
The more data that is sourced, stored, and archived within a business, also increases the risk of a security breach.
Big Data poses a great security risk. In recent years, companies such as Target and Home Depot have been hacked, an event which compromised millions of customer’s personal banking information. In those instances, both companies came under great public scrutiny, were reviewed and investigate, and sustained great financial loss due to victim compensation and lost revenue.
While the solution is not simple, with the ever-changing landscape of both security enhancements and the vulnerabilities within them, it is important for all companies to learn and understand data security compliance. The best way to troubleshoot a security breach is to make sure your company is in 100% compliance with the federal and state data laws and regulations.
3) Company Capabilities
Big Data acts somewhat like the alien monster from the movie The Blob. It can be all-consuming of a businesses resources, time, and management operations. Yet, for companies that rely on data accumulation, finding a comparable growth between an all-consuming monster blob and the capabilities of your systems and staff is key.
Companies must learn to be chameleons. As data is continuously collected, the company’s capabilities must also change, adapt, and ultimately grow. Don’t rely on original software and processes. Continually integrate necessary upgrades, as well as new operations and management systems that can better handle the growth of the company’s Big Data.
Per an article by McKinsey & Company, problems arise from the “mismatch between an organization’s existing culture and capabilities and emerging tactics to exploit analytics successfully.” Therefore, in order to survive in a Big Data world, a company must rely on its ability to meet the demands of their inventory. Otherwise, the threat of being consumed and disintegrated by “the blob” is very real.
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