If you’re in the world of business and you’re hoping to better understand your market, then you have undoubtedly heard of how valuable big data can be. The ability to collect data on all aspects of the business, from internal processes to customer desires and behavior, is a reality. Now businesses are figuring out how to make use of it to gain insights and provide real solutions. But with the sheer amount of data we can now gather, how do we make sense of it?
Know what you want to know
As mentioned, there can be a lot of data to comb through once you’ve found your methods of collecting and storing it. The “haystack problem” has become a challenge for many businesses getting into big data; many business owners don’t know how to find the data relevant to them. First of all, you need to think of what data will help you and what kind of questions you want to answer with it. WaveApp suggests data that can improve market research, for instance. But there’s also data that can help you better understand your sales funnel, internal efficiency, and much more. Find your goal and you can find the relevant data much more easily.
How you find it
Where do you get the little data points that all contribute to your big data strategy? The truth is that most of us are collecting it already. If you’re using online advertisements, most platforms already have data tools built in. Your website can be connecting to online analytics tools. Most social media channels have insights features. Customer management relationship software can help collect even more data. It’s all of these sources that allow you to pull the data points that contribute to the central strategy.
Fitting it all together
Another of the challenges of a big data strategy is fitting it all together in one centralized source. There are teams that can help you specifically find software that does that, however. For instance, you can move data from Mongodb to Redshift, ensuring that your organized document data storage can fit in alongside the table and more traditional SQL databases that other software tends to produce. One central source of data to search through and work with makes it a lot easier to find the relevant data points when you need to.
Don’t forget the context
A problem with big data is that it’s quantitative, not qualitative. If you forget the context of the insights you’re trying to develop and work solely with the numbers, you can miss the bigger picture. We can misinterpret datasets, we can have our bias narrow our sights down to only what we want to see, and without a process of quality assurance, we can use data that is incomplete or irrelevant depending on the circumstances. Make sure you have ways of qualifying your data before you use it for any grand insights.
A business with a big data strategy stands to make huge improvements. However, there’s a growing population of data scientists, if you’re unwilling to put the effort in to learn it all yourself. Consider getting one on your team if you don’t want to miss out.
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