Technology and online connectivity are parts of our everyday lives, from the computers we inevitably use at work to our smart phones, smart TVs and smartwatches that incorporate having an online presence into every second of our leisure time. As a business it’s inevitable that moving with these increasingly fast times is a must, but how? Well, let’s break it down.
Firstly, did you ever stop to think about what all this technology, linked up to the internet, is doing with every click, swipe and like? The answer – it’s recording it. The people of planet Earth will make about 33 zettabytes of data this year alone. To clarify, 1 zettabyte is a trillion times bigger than 1 gigabyte and is equivalent to 152 million years of hi-def video. Wowzer.
So, with this mind boggling amount of data floating around, how can we use it to our benefit? Well, we first need to solve the issue of making more of this data accessible to analyse. At the moment, only about 8% of data is tagged, wich makes it useful for analysis, but even this fraction of the whole is a massive amount of information. Once we’ve got that sorted we need the means to store and analyse it, which means advancement in storage technology. I’m happy to say the tech industry seems to have this covered, with goliaths like Amazon Web Services investing massively in the future of the world’s digital storage.
Looking at analysis, we’re building the tools everyday, but it’s likely that the next big innovation hasn’t even been thought of yet because no one’s needed to build the tools for it. That’s kind of amazing when you think of it.
The great news is that if we continue to successfully do all of the above, businesses get to see better efficiency, cost cuts, enhanced logistics, a more targeted customer base and, yup, bigger profits. Big data reveals patterns and trends that we previously had no knowledge of, and these can make the difference between your company seeing incredible success or a slow fade into obscurity.
Let’s jump back to my point about useful data, shall we? This is currently the most important stage in the future of big data, so you need to invest here to see the benefits. You’re already making data in your business pursuits, whether consciously or not, so making sure you have the right ways to track and record it is essential in taking advantage of the big data boom. For most businesses, Google Analytics or an industry specialised software will give you the edge you need. No fancy computer upgrades required, but in an industry more research or lab based, for example, you’ll need something like an electronic laboratory notebook that will link several systems and types of data. Investing in the right tech is key to making big data work for you.