Do you ever wonder and even get baffled by how companies can easily predict your taste and preference and customize your homepage for some of the services you have subscribed to? We are living in the cusp of a new industrial revolution, the fourth industrial revolution, thanks to the quantum advances in technology. At the heart of this advancement, in what pundits have described as the new oil, is data. We are living in the age of decision sciences and the impact being made from utilizing the enormous volume of data collected every second is unprecedented.
The more people get connected, the more data gets generated. This is a game changer for all industries. Companies will be able to reduce costs by accurately predicting consumer trends and also use this astronomical amount of data to improve their products and services.
Gaining solid insights towards future investments is a prerequisite for long-term success and sustainability of businesses. Making rational decisions based on tangible evidence will ensure a higher return on investment and guide the direction the organization will take to ensure profitability.
Image Source: Google
Data has gone open and various platforms can easily give you free consumer insight. Analytics from social media platforms can easily tell you which topics or goods generate the most buzz online. With Google Analytics, you can tell the locations where most of your web traffic is coming from, which pages of your website most people visit, engagement rate, and so on. With open data sources increasing the ability of businesses to make accurate deductions will be bolstered.
According to The Conversation, in 1967 one gigabyte of hard drive storage space cost US$ 1m. Today it’s around two US cents. Computer processing power has also increased exponentially: it doubles every two years. This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to technological progress in the 21st century. It is becoming cheaper to store data using companies that provide cloud services. Hardware is also becoming cheaper due to fierce competition and the entrance of companies that have a comparative advantage in manufacturing.
A large amount of data collected will be useless if it cannot be analyzed to give information. They say information is power and the ability to make sense out of data, which is basically the building blocks of information, is paramount. The good news is that the right tools used to analyze data are becoming cheaper. Open sourced big data processing technologies, which are loyally used by the big companies and are free, do the hard job of crunching numbers. This is a major step and validates the fact that data is the new gold.
However, it is important to note that there is a dearth of professionals with big data skills despite the fact that big data is not going anywhere for at least a decade. Organizations are faced with a behemoth task of training and reskilling employees to make sure they take full advantage of big data.