There’s no denying that competition in the business sphere is fierce, especially in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The world is becoming increasingly digital, and as new technologies emerge, the amount of data generated grows exponentially.
Big data is a term thrown around in the business world, but what does it mean? Why does it matter? These are critical questions company owners should ask themselves. One primary benefit businesses can reap when using big data is increasing speed and efficiency in the workplace.
Here’s why companies should consider leveraging big data and how it can speed up common business processes.
What is big data in business?
In simple terms, big data consists of unstructured and structured information and is a phrase used to describe processes and tools needed to manage and utilize large datasets.
Big data can be analyzed to identify patterns, draw conclusions and gain valuable insights. Businesses have more data at their disposal than ever before, and it can be leveraged for various processes.
Big data is captured through various technologies and devices within an organization. It can fall through the cracks and take insights with it at the corporate level, making it more challenging for large companies to use it to their advantage.
Why big data matters to companies
Traditionally, data is viewed through a marketing perspective, such as gathering customer information regarding purchasing habits or how to target ads more effectively. However, big data analytics enables companies to make more informed decisions about operating and optimizing workflows to achieve higher productivity levels.
A business that wants to remain competitive in its industry must leverage big data. According to research from Bain & Co., only 4% of companies said they had the right tools to draw meaningful insights from it.
Data is a critically important driver in a successful company. The business intelligence and analytics software market is expected to reach $16.5 billion by 2025, based on forecasts from Statista.
Increased adoption of cloud technologies, demand for data visualization and a spotlight on the value of a digital transformation are three reasons why the big data revolution is taking the business world by storm.
How big data increases speed and operational efficiency
Big data, if used correctly, can also improve speed within an organization and help employees achieve higher levels of efficiency and productivity.
Marketing data, customer experience (CX) information and employee productivity or engagement statistics can be leveraged and used by company leaders to get ahead of their competitors.
Here are four specific examples of how it can directly affect employee productivity and overall efficiency.
Many industries are becoming automated to save time and resources. Real-time data is used to power these technologies, such as robotic process automation (RPA). Many companies are increasingly interested in implementing RPA into their operations, as it can improve efficiency and allow employees to work on other meaningful tasks.
Roles previously performed manually by people can now be automated, or this technology can complement human work. For example, RPA is heavily used to speed up production lines while maintaining accuracy in the manufacturing industry.
2. Informed decision-making
Data analytics software and technologies work much faster than humans analyzing information manually. Leaders of an organization can harness the power of that data more quickly to make better decisions.
One survey from PwC found that highly data-driven companies are three times more likely to cite improvements in decision-making than other companies that do not rely on it as much.
3. Marketing efficiency
Marketing is a critical aspect of any business. Whether it’s email marketing, website analytics or social media metrics, this data is an invaluable tool a company should analyze to improve its strategies and campaigns.
No longer are the days when digital marketers need to rely on their gut or intuition to make solid decisions. Big data analytics will become essential for businesses looking to stand out from the crowd and appeal to broader audiences.
4. Employee productivity
Upper management can rely on specific data points captured through time-tracking software and analyze employee performance. From there, managers can adjust workloads and ensure workers are held accountable.
Various time-tracking software, such as Hubstaff or ActivTrak, allow companies to see how productive their employees are during work hours. These tools collect data about worker productivity, such as logging keystrokes or mouse movements. Active and idle time is also recorded, so people may feel more motivated to efficiently meet deadlines or complete tasks.
Expect big data’s role to become increasingly important
As technology advances and data collection and interpretation becomes more accessible and affordable, it will reveal unexpected insights and help businesses predict the future rather than make educated guesses. Big data’s role will become more important as additional companies make a digital transformation.