Big data is the large quantities data that comes in to a business every day. Collecting every bit of data allows for really useful information to be picked up and utilised. If this data is analysed and interpreted correctly it can be used to make decisions, find and predict trends, and make your company more efficient – all of these will reduce costs and gain profits. Therefore, being able to harness the relevant big data has recently become really important to businesses. As there is so much data constantly coming in to a company, this can be difficult.
Data analytics is the process of gathering, organising and examining ‘big data’ to find trends and useful information and opportunities which can be utilised by the company, and it is revolutionising how businesses make decisions. A recent KPMG study found that CEO’s who are confident about their growth are increasing data analytics capability by 26%. It can be a challenge to bring data analytics to a business as the massive volumes of data from all over the company can be difficult to harness, so it is also important to ask what information does your company want to analyse; what is important to your business? More are more data analytics roles are now required due to these issues and are being created as a result of the growth of big data analysis. There is now a great demand for data analysts, with roles in all sectors. Therefore, these skills are now highly sought after.
Data analytics is used in most sectors, from retail to HR, often in business-to-customer situations, but it can be used in relation to employer-to-employee. The retail industry can use data taken from loyalty cards and point of sale scanners to, for example, optimise staffing by discovering at what times more customers are in their shop and when there are fewer, so less staff are needed. They can also recommend products and services to customers and make predictions based on spending habits and the volume of certain types of products being sold, this all leads towards gaining profits. It is important to note that privacy issues should be considered when getting and using information about customers. HR teams can use data analytics to find out more about the people within their company, as well as potential employees. For example, they can be used to measure how effective employees are at reaching their target and be able to predict who can be relied upon to reach their targets. Data analytics can also be used to show the impact of HR policies etc. they have been put in place and see how they are effecting the company.
Essentially data analytics is about efficiency. It is becoming a norm within business and will allow your company to make more informed decisions and boost your business for the better!