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5 Big Data Use Cases

Here are five instances that experts say might make big data technology and analysis worth the investment for your organization.

Context for Interactions and Transactions Context for Interactions and Transactions

In-house, there are sets of transaction like reward points, warranty policies, that are growing and may hold unforeseen customer information patterns, writes Chicago Business Intelligence Group founding Principal Todd Nash. Outside, every customer interaction – social media chatter, survey response feedback, website requests – carries potential as an unstructured but reachable data set.

Connect with Outside Patterns Connect with Outside Patterns

Huge sets of governmental or publicly available data could help you shape your business plans. Nucleus Research reported that one vacation resort drastically cut labor costs by syncing up its scheduling process with information from the National Weather Service. Business students at the University of Rochester used an IBM program to run predictive risk models on huge sets of government compliance information to narrow natural resource prospects.

Response Based on Trends Response Based on Trends

Communications industry group leaders see potential with big data to help manage disasters and outages. When customers notify their provider of an outage, there may be other, real-time information coming in that could be linked in to refine response locations, times and problems. There may also be secondary communication channels or a jump in social media keyword chatter that could tip them off to a situation or details otherwise unknown to them while disconnected from customers.

Insight into Oversight Insight into Oversight

With more oversight and regulation from governments, financial institutions are finding more value in big data programs for compliance checks and audits. Financial exchanges emphasize fast transactions, but on the back end, reporting systems have more data and may find exceptions to impending mandates.

Know Yourself and Your Rivals Know Yourself and Your Rivals

Krish Krishnan, CEO of SixthSense Advisors, says big data enables better demographic insight into how products and services are used by your enterprise and your competitors. For example, a car dealership could take a more competitive stance with customers who have an eye on sedans at a rival across the street with an extensive range of data on both customer preferences and product details. That demographic information can be “invaluable when you start to quantify it,” he says.

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All photos used with permission from ThinkStock.

Let’s step back from all of the questions on “how” big data and data analytics can be applied, and take a peek into “where” it would work within the enterprise. This high-level view isn’t meant to ignore the outstanding challenges big data poses in areas such as integration, storage and mining; rather, it’s a point of reference to where the trendy topic could be practical.


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