3 Examples of the Big Data Revolution
Industries across the board have always taken advantage of the benefits data tracking can provide to become better equipped for success in their given field. Business owners have tracked which products, which advertising techniques, which hours of operation, etc., lead to the most sales.
Now, technology has provided a way to look at data on a scale much larger than ever utilized before. The vast majority of barriers to collecting and processing information for practical applications no longer exist. Thus, we now are able to collect massive amounts of data, and then utilize that data to spot patterns and trends that can be utilized to gain an understanding of things.
This data is changing the way that businesses relate to their customers, and thus the core of their operations has changed as well.
Below are three examples that demonstrate the wide-ranging ways that big data has transformed how industries operate:
Healthcare has historically struggled to maintain pace with other industries in terms of technological advances. Healthcare is different from other industries in that even in the modern world, much of the data is unstructured; in other words, it’s often handwritten, text-heavy and difficult for processing.
However, the industry as a whole recognizes that data is the future. Data offers a means of providing better care; big numbers often provide big answers.
Additionally, the healthcare industry recognizes that they are not immune to a society that is heavily influenced by consumerist ideals.
The University of Cincinnati cites a World Economic Forum report that states, “The growing movement among individuals to shop around for the best value, research conditions online and self-diagnose or otherwise manage care independently of clinical professionals is dramatically altering how organizations manage care strategies. Longstanding parental models of care are starting to subside in favor of this consumer-focused methodology.”
Some of the key ways big data is changing healthcare include:
Wearables: Wearables give healthcare providers access to relevant information about their patients; they provide direct, relevant information in real time for providers, allowing them to have a clearer picture of their patients’ health. That information can be a vital instrument in providing an accurate diagnosis and optimal treatment.
Paul Mendelowitz, M.D., MPH, medical director of health informatics for ActiveHealth Management, says, “This is really where a huge impact is going to occur because the optimization and the management of people with chronic conditions are really where we can impact health and the quality of care delivered.”
Telemedicine: One of medicine’s most novel advances is that of telemedicine, wherein patients forgo the traditional face-to-face experience with their doctor and instead utilize technology, often video chatting, to consult a medical professional.
Given its dramatic break from the traditional, telemedicine relies on the data to support its venture into the future. U.S. News and World Report noted that Teladoc, an app that partners with insurance companies to provide telemedicine, claims that, in 2017, 92 percent of the 24 million patients treated were pleased with that treatment. Those are the numbers that will grant telemedicine the support it needs to continue to alter the field of medicine as we know it.
We’ve already pointed out that big data has serious implications for marketing. The reality is that marketing that doesn’t rely on data is marketing that isn’t doing its job well. Ultimately data has the ability to change how a company relates to its customers on virtually every level.
“In marketing, big data is providing insights into which content is the most effective at each stage of a sales cycle, how Investments in Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems can be improved, in addition to strategies for increasing conversion rates, prospect engagement, conversion rates, revenue and customer lifetime value,” Louis Columbus says.
In many ways succeeding in business is about the ability to understand your customer better than your competitors do. The current method is all about utilizing data to understand and respond to customer expectations and needs.
The future takes it a step further by using big data to alter the very products and services offered by a company.
When Villanova University overviewed the evolution of data analytics, they noted, “Many experts believe that a third era — Analytics 3.0 — has arrived, evidenced by new customer-facing services that use analytics to provide a very personalized user experience. Revolutionary in-memory or in-database analytics are now being paired with responsive methods and machine learning to deliver real-time insight and results.”
This third era means that big data now is not just about understanding customer behavior. Although that is certainly part of it, it’s also about how altering the products and services provided can have impacts. Ultimately, the information collected is constantly being utilized in new ways.
Using the numbers wisely paves the way for a business to target their customer base so strategically that they’re able to produce conversions at a higher rate than ever before.
In many areas of life, people act based on what they know. Energy efficiency is a perfect example of how data can alter the manner in which consumers behave.
A Huffington Post article from 2016 outlined the most surprising ways that data can be utilized, and one of the results was energy efficiency. Like many other components of environmental protection, when individuals understand how pollutants and a depleting supply of resources impact the environment, they’re far more likely to alter their behavior.
Data analytics company Nielson reports that “Consumers still view home energy efficiency as their a top unmet need—spanning all ages and locations.” Data on energy consumption, a relatively novel part of our understanding of energy usage, has been instrumental in changing public opinion and by extension the public’s actions.
According to the New Jersey Institute of Technology, “As a clean and free renewable energy, benefits can be found in both cost-effectiveness and environment protection. A 5 panel (3.75 kW) system can replace about 80% of the energy normally taken from the grid. A homeowner can save around $1,000 a year on electricity by installing solar panels on the roof, and reduce the household carbon footprint by 2.48 tons.”
That type of data has revolutionized consumer behavior, and it represents the reality that as a whole, data changes industries.
Big data provides insight where before there was none. It allows industries, businesses, and individuals to not only recognize patterns and realities about the world, but it also grants the means for practical application; businesses who utilize it actually change how they operate in response to what they learn.
Data gathered, analyzed, and stored is data that can change not only the bottom line in a business’s budget but also human lives. It can provide the clarity that leads to healthier humans and a greener planet. The aforementioned examples prove that there is virtually no industry that big data doesn’t have the power to alter.