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.