How to Get Into Big Data
How to get into big data is a technology story of epic proportions. At the current moment, many private sector corporations are opting to outsource most of their information technologies management to outside sources in order to free up some of their internal IT resources to concentrate on core business functions. In doing so, they are taking advantage of a new opportunity to leverage the power of big data analytics. But what exactly does this mean for the small business owner?
The term “big data” refers to massive amounts of unprocessed data gathered from a wide range of sources. Some of this information is from outside the company, such as customer demographics or supplier relationships; while other bits come from within the company, obtained through a variety of means. It’s not all about numbers, though. Certain segments of the population are particularly valuable to companies for a variety of reasons, and companies are only just beginning to tap into this wealth of personal information in ever greater numbers. Now, even smaller companies can afford to tap into this intelligence flow by way of web-based solutions and mobile apps.
So the question remains: how to get into big data? How can a smaller company go about achieving its data goals? Well, there are several answers to that question depending on the company’s particular needs.
Perhaps the simplest way of how to get into big data is to invest in a platform that promises to help the company to mine information for insights. These platforms can come in many forms. Some are more plug and play models, where the company simply provides the tools necessary to access data. Others are more geared towards collecting and organizing that data for closer analysis and reporting. And then there are desktop-based options that require the company to have a special desk top system that collects, processes and analyzes the information for the user.
Another common approach on how to get into big data is to tap into the many analytics databases already available. These range from the massive data sets provided by large and complex organizations to simpler offerings from smaller companies. Again, these are available either on-demand or on a pay-as-you-go basis. Some examples include: brokers’ quotes, market research firms’ estimates and consumer surveys. With this type of service, a company just needs to sign up for an account and start gathering the information. Afterwards, they can either analyze the data or make some product enhancements based on their findings.
Another popular route into the big data phenomenon is to simply outsource the analytics job to a third party company. This is perhaps the most cost-effective way, since it allows you to focus on making your business better without worrying so much about collecting data and working with external personnel. In the end, though, it does take a significant amount of time and effort to find the right company to partner with.
Lastly, there are the free ways to get into the loop. One popular option is to create dashboards for your website that automatically pull information from a number of different sources. There are two ways to do this: manually or via a hosted software program. The first one has its merits, as it requires thorough technical knowledge and a lot of work. On the other hand, a hosted software program allows users to quickly and easily create a dashboard by simply installing the required tools and following basic procedures. Given the plethora of free tools now available, this may be the best way to go.
As you can see, there are plenty of different ways into big data. Depending on your own company’s needs, you can get in on the action by either investing in a solution today or simply educating yourself on how to get into big data as you move forward. Either way, this rapidly growing field promises to be one of the most beneficial aspects of your company in the future.