In an increasingly digital world, pretty much everything we do online creates an electronic record–each time we buy something, every time we add a friend or like something on Facebook, even when we schedule a visit to the doctor’s clinic–this data is being collected by someone.
Organizations today are amassing thousands of terabytes of information on their consumers, and this is driving an insatiable thirst for more sophisticated software that will allow these organizations to better mine and analyze this mountain of big data.
It’s hard to argue against this practice, given the enormous Potential of Big Data. The amount of data on record is literally exploding, and seems to be growing at an exponential rate. Organizations are collecting this data for one reason – its profit potential.
The ability to harness all of this data and turning it into profit is still in its infancy, but the money-making opportunities are there for all to see. One of the largest sectors that stands to gain from big data is Healthcare, which according to Get Satisfaction could generate an extra $300 billion annually from its successful implementation, especially in areas like research and development, clinical transparency and accounting.
In other sectors, such as retail and manufacturing, there could well be even greater potential; based on the previous implementation of technology in these two industries, experts predict that the retail sector could increase its operating margins by 60% over the next decade if it can successfully harness big data to better serve its customers, while manufacturers could reduce operating costs by as much as 50% through the continued adoption of big data.
It’s all very well pointing out this ‘potential’ of course, but it means nothing unless organizations know how to exploit it. Currently, the majority of big data research is focused on ‘high-quality data’ only, meaning that there’s a vast reservoir of information left untapped. Exploiting this ‘untapped’ data will become critical in the next few years. If organizations don’t want to be left behind, investment in data gathering and analysis tools will have to become one of the most essential elements of their research strategies.
A recent infographic by Sybase, the Big Data Opportunity, demonstrates this fact by showing the awesome profits to be had from making big data more ‘usable’. The only way to achieve this of course, is by heavily investing in data analytics infrastructure. For the ‘average’ FORTUNE 1000 company, increasing the usability of big data directly could translate to a $2.01 billion increase in annual revenue, while a 10% increase in big data accessibility would result in an additional $65.67 million in net income each year – in other words, a 10% increase in productivity and sales for the average FORTUNE 1000 company.
Clearly, big data is set to provide some rich rewards for those who have the means to exploit it.