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Big data analytics
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Big data analytics: competing and keeping pace

Companies everywhere are utilising big data make smarter choices and build their business.


With big data analytics, we are now able to make connections that 10 years ago would never have been noticed. The sheer amount of information that previously would have taken years to sift through can now be sorted with the click of a button.


A report from the McKinsey Global institute suggests that big data opportunities are only going to increase. Each new technology brings new ways for analytics to integrate and expand industries.


And the influx of big data is not slowing down. Every day, every hour, every minute, we create new information that can be collected and analysed for everything from ad recommendations to policing.


Furthermore, with these massive amounts of data, data storage capacity is improving, keeping pace with demand. It’s cheaper than ever, and is giving data scientists free reign to create more complex algorithms and analytics.


It appears that the greatest benefits in data analytics have occurred in location services and US retail, according to a McKinsey and Company report. However, five years ago, healthcare and manufacturing had a great potential for capturing data value, which has not been realised.


The report shows that US healthcare has captured about 20% of its potential value, whereas location-based data captured around 60%.


The benefits of big data in healthcare are massive. Improved records help healthcare practitioners respond quickly and with surety, resulting in advanced patient care. Records of patient treatments and responses could be analysed to find hidden correlations, resulting in easier diagnoses and possible cures for diseases.


An article in The Economist, “Doctor You,” suggests technology is creating a shift towards self-diagnosis and treatment, with big data making this possible.


HR software app Roubler is using big data to track employee productivity, highlighting spaces for improvement automatically. This saves hours of time on spreadsheets and graphs. Soon, big data will streamline hiring processes, being able to assess thousands of resumes for the required experience.


Companies who are capturing the value of big data are expanding beyond their main functions. They’re not just taking over their own sectors, often as the primary operator, they’re expanding across the board. They’re entering other industries, removing the separators that once existed amongst companies.


For digital natives, this is easier. Companies founded in the digital age have been built around technology. They’re used to it. The systems they have in place don’t require a lot of overhauling in order to advance with the times.


For older companies, it’s not as simple. Beyond making a shift in technology, many have to change the culture within their workplace.


Where unlikely companies like Place Real Estate are hiring digital content producers to run their social media and expand their brand, Australia’s Queensland Government started an Instagram only last year, which boasts a mere 9 posts.


A push for technology and big data usage is only the start. It needs to be incorporated into culture and strategy.  Integration of big data can take down the walls between sectors, helping businesses make informed decisions in place of guesswork.


Instead of needing to ask the big questions, data and analytics provide answers and information for use in a range of industries. As time goes on, the gap between those using big data and those unable to will widen. McKinsey Global Institute research found 45% of current work activities could be automated.


No more sifting through individual studies or big spreadsheets of data. Change is coming, and it will be good. For those who are ready.

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