When we talk about technology, it is not easy to foresee what the future has in store.
Not long ago, Big data was at the centre of most of our tech conversations. This conversation has now been overtaken by Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technology, AI and Machine Learning.
So, what has happened to Big Data? Obviously, it is still key to our daily life. Just look at the continuously increasing number of devices connected to internet (Depending on which statistic you read, currently there are about 25 billion connected devices worldwide.) This directly impacts the amount of data we generate and share. A now established role within companies is the ‘Chief Data Officer’ – indicating that data is still a valuable part of our economy. We may even say that we currently live in a data-economy.
Big Data is a tool, hidden in many different applications. It is mostly referred to as Big Data & Analytics, as without the latter, it has little value. It has quickly evolved from being an end result into an enabler of progress in our personal and professional lives.
The (new) GDPR regulations that came into effect in early 2018, have certainly increased awareness of the many points at which our personal data is gathered. We understand that (big) data is behind the clever predictions we see within Google and Amazon. We are intrigued by a tangible future with connected and autonomous vehicles. As professionals, we see how big data is widely used in business by functions including marketing, technology and supply chain and logistics.
Many marketing strategies have been developed using data, bringing consumers and companies the benefits of offering tailored offers and communications.
In the insurance sector for example, a small black box installed in the car keeps track of driving style, records speed and distances travelled amongst other things. It takes this information to suggest improvements to the driver score, bringing down the cost of insurance if implemented. Big data is used in many ways in the banking sector, for example to identify fraud or, to design mortgage offers shaped to specific financial situations, even taking into account a customer’s predicted financial future.
Big data has helped, and is helping, to develop better informed business strategies and propositions. In the past, strategic decisions were broadly based on historic information mixed with a healthy dose of intuition. Nowadays, companies that invest appropriately in big data processing and infrastructure will take the competitive advantage.