Big data is all the rage these days, and it’s certainly something that appears as if it will drive the businesses of tomorrow.
However, it’s also an area of business that is very much in its infancy, and as with any other young technology, it can often be a source of frustration and problems. But what are these issues, and how can they impact your business?
Given that the vast majority of companies these days use web technology to reach and engage with customers, it’s vital that you understand the potential pitfalls of collecting – and using – data. Let’s take a closer look at everything you need to know.
First and foremost, it is essential for your business to look after your customer’s personal details and any other business-sensitive information you hold on a database.
Hacking, malware, and data theft is an all-too-common problem, and although you only hear about the big companies suffering from data breaches on the news, the reality is that small businesses suffer most. It is vital that whether you use a cloud-based online database service or invest in creating your own, security is at the forefront of your mind. Don’t forget, even in a small company, the information held by your database could be available to a lot of different people.
Employees, suppliers, and even customers could have some kind of access, and a clever hacker could – in many cases – find an entry point in any part of the chain.
On the face of things, the data you collect about your customers can inform you of how to speak and communicate with them. However, the reality of big data is that it just isn’t that simple.
Data only tells you a part of the story, and every metric you see is quantitative rather than qualitative. Ultimately, you have no idea why a particular customer liked a particular ad, or clicked on a particular call to action, only that they did. And it is easy to draw false conclusions about any item of data you have.
The simple truth is that the average business owner just doesn’t know how to sift through the sheer volume of data they are presented with, and it is all too easy to become overwhelmed. The result of that could be sending the wrong messages to the wrong people, and even making poor business decisions based on misreading the information.
Continuing on from the previous point, one of the biggest issues with big data is down to the people that use it. As we looked at above, it’s easy to misinterpret data sets dues to our own preconceived ideas. And you can pretty much prove any point you like when there is so much data on the table, regardless of whether it is true or not.
Also, the people accessing the data can be an issue, and you have a choice of two different options, both of which can cause their own problems. First of all, you could take on everything in-house, which means hiring more people and putting others through expensive training courses.
Secondly, it involves outsourcing to a third-party, meaning you have to hand over your sensitive information to people you don’t know. If you go down this route, it’s essential that you choose a reputable, experienced, and open company that you trust implicitly.
Are you a big data lover or hater? Let us know in the comments!
If you like what you’ve read here, please let others know of this post, blog, and site.
And thanks for reading! 🙂