Big Data Drives Better Decision Making


If you look at an organization of any size across verticals, one thing you will notice is that all of them accumulate data. It could be accounting data or inventory data or customer data or sales data, just to name a few. The world of data analytics came into being to help organizations leverage this data to take more informed decisions rather than relying on instinct alone.

The earlier generation of data analytics was known as Business Intelligence or BI. With BI, companies could process massive amounts of data generated across different functions and start looking at their businesses through a dashboard, commonly known as a Management Information System or MIS. Over the last 3-5 years, data analytics has evolved into the age of Big Data.

Big Data Analytics is unique in that it can process three dimensions of data – volume, variety and velocity. What this means is that large volumes of data of different types (variety), generated at different speeds (from real-time to say, once a month) can be processed by these analytics systems both in real-time and near real-time. So, how does this impact the end user or in other words, the end customer of a company that uses Big Data Analytics?

Let’s say you are a telecom subscriber and you have a smartphone, which you use both at home and while traveling, to make voice calls, send sms, use Whatsapp, check Facebook and watch videos on Youtube. With Big Data Analytics, your telecom operator will be able to first segment you very accurately as a subscriber who is interested in the above 5 services. The telco will also be able to monitor your mobility patterns and map those patterns to service usage. For instance, you may like to watch a youtube video in the evenings at home when you are back from work but you may want to browse Facebook when you are on the road.

Then the telco will be able to monitor the quality of service you are getting for each of those five services in the areas that you typically move in. Say, you are on your way to work and you are on a conference call and the call is dropping frequently. The telco, with Big Data Analytics will be able to detect that in real-time, flag the network operations team to fix it and contact you saying, ‘We are aware that you are facing a problem. We are fixing it’.

Analytics for the sake of it is not of much use to any company. The adoption of Big Data Analytics has grown at such a rapid pace only because of the positive impact it can have on a company’s customers both in terms of understanding the customer better and also in terms of improving the offerings for the customer.