Big data can improve business' bottom lines
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Big data can improve business’ bottom lines

Today's organization leaders have a lot on their minds, and information technology implementation is figuring more prominently in their decision-making processes than ever before. Especially when budgets are tight, careful choices must be made to ensure the right solutions are selected and that money is not wasted on initiatives that won't produce measurable results. 

One of the most important questions businesses face in the IT planning process is whether to jump into the world of big data analytics. While big data has a reputation for producing strong results, it is natural to wonder whether these outcomes can be replicated in any context. Because of this concern, some experts are advising that firms carefully consider how and why they want to use big data analytics to determine whether the effort is truly worthwhile.

GigaOM noted that at the recent GigaOM Structure conference, Dave McCrory, SVP of Warner Music Group, advised that enterprises make sure they have stopped to consider the purpose of a big data analytics project before delving in. He explained that this is particularly crucial because the investments involved in these initiatives can add up. After all, businesses must collect the information they need, store it safely and then actually crunch the data to gain valuable insights. If these efforts aren't well-planned, it's possible that firms might not arrive at results that are worthwhile and actionable.

McCrory added that it is also important that businesses don't simply embark on big data projects to follow the crowd. While the knowledge gained can furnish a competitive edge, big data analytics can turn unproductive if companies haven't devised a plan for putting it to work.

"I've come across several people that are collecting data just to collect because at some point in the future they might be able to get some valuable information out of it," McCrory said, according to GigaOM. "The question is, is it worth doing that? Is it worth keeping that data and for how long? … You can't just store your data forever. It's not free to do, and it's a compounding problem."

The big data boost
Ultimately, when asked whether mining big data for insight is worth it, many organizations answer yes. MarketingProfs noted that a survey from IT firm Wipro discovered that while 57.6 percent of enterprises believe big data presents a challenge, 50 percent assert that it has helped them meet consumer demands and achieve healthier growth. And many organizations know what they stand to gain from big data: 72.7 percent of respondents cited "driving operational efficiency" as the the most significant benefit of leveraging large amounts of consumer-generated information.

So how can any company ensure their big data-related investments are put to good use? Using the best IT solutions available alongside support from industry experts, analytics initiatives can generate insights that could revolutionize performance, reinforce customer relationship and, in the process, strengthen the bottom line.