Big Data – Fad or Something for all Businesses?

big data2

I am real big fan of smart people. Listening to them makes me marvel at our true potential as a species. To me, one of those smart people is Dr. Jeff Jonas, Chief Scientist at IBM. He has spoken many times on the topic of Big Data and its relevance to business and society everywhere.

So what is Big Data?

I am sure there are many types of definitions out there of what Big Data is. Simplified, it is all data that has meaning to you. Whether you are a small retailer, an airline or the next famous writer, data is for us to use, abuse and customize. A writer wants to use data to research character formations and depictions of what society was like at that time. Not the same type of data an airline is concerned about. Think about how many clients use their lounges, their frequent flyer program and as well as in-flight purchases? These examples alone show that the definition of Big Data can change depending on the type of business you are in.

Are you too small of a business to “see the relevance”?

You are too small if the results that you find cannot be applied to your business in a way that will directly impact it. As Dr. Jonas mentions, Big Data is an asset not a liability. If you can apply it to your business, you can see the value of finding tools that will enable you to be more informed on what is ahead.

All businesses must invest in tools to extract the relevance of their data. If not, why use it? Understanding customer behaviour, employee behaviour, and purchasing behaviour can drive further innovation. It is not just for the large enterprises to spend their resources. I believe that some of those large enterprises are not taking advantage of correlating the relevance of the big data they are analyzing, but it is not too late.

Technology has blessed us and cursed us. We live in a society more informed, a true global village. However, the curse of data from smartphones, digital media, social media etc. can sometimes lead one to challenge their views on privacy. We must not shy away from Big Data, but instead embrace it and its potential value.

Big Data can be extremely valuable to your company as long as you are willing to invest in it and equip yourself with the right tools to take advantage of it. What do you think about the Big Data trend? Do you feel like it can be beneficial to all businesses or only certain segments? Leave a comment below with your thoughts.

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About johnjblair

John J. Blair is the President and CEO of Blair Technology Solutions responsible for technology, innovation, and providing customized IT strategies to strengthen operations for enterprises across various industry verticals. His reputation is renowned as a results-driven leader, whose effective team-building skills and strategic development expertise have helped his clients achieve IT business success with cost-effective solutions. With almost 35 years in the IT industry, John has established a highly skilled team with expertise in providing personalized and customized IT solutions to a variety enterprises across Canada. Under his tutelage, his company is committed to customer service excellence, providing IT professional technicians to support the ongoing growth and needs of any IT department. Always on the leading edge of emerging technologies, John entered into the Managed Services field early and developed a Managed Services division under the Blair brand. John holds a Bachelor of Commerce from Concordia University and has many industry certifications.
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One Response to Big Data – Fad or Something for all Businesses?

  1. tfburton says:

    John,
    I agree that even the smallest business can benefit from Big Data. It’s unfortunate that the industry settled on that particular name because it implies enormous amounts of information and complexity that doesn’t have to be there and I believe it probably scares off many smaller businesses. I think that BD is all part and parcel with the move to understand and serve customers better in order to pull them into a relationship that goes beyond price. This is not solely the purview of the Fortune 500. Small businesses have to be able to look clearly at whatever information they can pull from their customers or prospects and then, above all else, ask the right questions……
    TB

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