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Not your dad’s data: Embracing boundless business info

Not your dad’s data: Embracing boundless business info

The ability to effectively use big data is rapidly becoming a big deal for businesses.

The world’s relatively recent capacity for collecting, analyzing and applying enormous sets of data across channels and categories — often in real time — is allowing B2B and B2C firms of all sizes to customize business strategies like never before. The digital transformation is virtually revolutionizing business functions from purchasing and marketing to employee screening and manufacturing.

Global revenues in the big data market are now at $18.2 billion, according to a recent report, with 14.5 percent annual growth projected to boost that number to $92 billion by 2026. Drivers are expected to include better software; predictive application technologies that use past patterns to predict the future; edge computing that applies on-site analytics to laptops, smartphones, tablets and sensors; the growth of the Internet of Things (IoT) and the skyrocketing of public cloud platforms. Sectors set to especially benefit are computers, electronic products, information, finance, insurance and government. Big players already include Amazon, Google, Wal-Mart and Facebook.

Still, some businesses will struggle in the coming years to determine which data to leverage, how to integrate existing technology with multiple SaaS and cloud offerings, and how to maintain privacy and security standards. And some will fall behind because they can’t overcome those challenges in time to remain competitive. Other forecasted outcomes in the business world include:

  • So-called “unstructured data” from channels like social media, email conversations, videos, photos, voice recordings, etc. will be integrated more with traditional data via CRM to give businesses greater customer overviews. Dynamic dashboards will include sophisticated, real-time graphs and charts for easy visualization.
  • The traditional scientific research model (and its capacity for bias) will increasingly be replaced by automated machine learning that allows for more objective questioning and results. Prescriptive analytics will focus on meaningful patterns that help businesses drive change, optimization and ROI.
  • Demand continues for experts who can validate data accuracy and analyze the meaning of patterns. By 2018, the U.S. alone will face a shortage of 140,000 to 190,000 professionals with deep analytical skills and some 1.5 million managers and analysts who can use big data for effective decision making.
  • APIs (tools allowing for access to other software) will be popular with firms wishing to integrate new and existing IT. They’ll be used across data sources for functions including user authentication, payment processing and access to customer information. Mobile developers will maximize APIs for streaming applications for Apple and Android devices.
  • Legislation will expand surrounding data privacy and security, partly due to international law that dictates different business policies. Fewer organizations will store copies of data; instead they’ll conduct analytics solutions in the cloud.

“(Big data) is already completely transforming the way we live, find love, cure cancer, conduct science, improve performance, run cities and countries, and operate business,” writes Barnard Marr, author of last year’s “Big Data.” “The real value is not in the large volumes of data, but what we can now do with it.”

Learn more about data integration at https://www.dial800.com/data-integration/.

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