Is Big Data the Missing Link Between Business and IT?

Big data is a huge tool for businesses these days, enabling decision makers to make better, more informed choices and move their organizations in more efficient and profitable directions. Although having massive sets of data poses many challenges for businesses and organizations, there are ultimately many benefits, and the information can help to maximize profitability and minimize risk in the end. Many businesses are still not harnessing the power of big data analytics, leaving a void in their overall IT capabilities and functions. Some businesses might just not realize all the data tools that they have at their fingertips, but it likely won't stay this way for long.

Data Changes Everything

All across the globe, there is more data available to businesses, organizations and individuals than ever before, thanks to the rise of the Internet and digital technology. Large sets of data can help provide more thorough, specific and useful information to help businesses across virtually every industry become more competitive, consumer centric, innovative, productive and successful if they take advantage of the data they have available to them. Big data consulting has become a more necessary service than ever for a number of businesses as they struggle to remain competitive in the changing times, and look for new ways to stay ahead of the curve. This affects business leaders everywhere, and not just those in the information technology field. Those who don't pay attention to what's going on with the Internet, social media and multimedia universes, and don't capture the valuable information out there, will be less informed and less prepared to offer value to their target market. Ultimately, it is data that will keep many businesses viable as we continue into the 21st century.

Examples of Data Providing Value

IT-AlignmentThere are many examples of how data can provide great value to businesses across all the sectors. A retailer, for example, can use large sets of data from the relevant markets to increase their operating margin and ultimately increase profitability. For the healthcare sector and public sectors such as government and education, it is theoretically possible to bring in hundreds of billions of dollars in revenue and/or save hundreds of billions of dollars in inefficiencies, all with careful analysis of the relevant sets of data and strategic planning based on the insights gained from analyzing that data. Many businesses are already taking advantage of the value that these large sets of data offer. Companies with more than 1,000 employees, in most sectors of the United States economy, have at least 200 terabytes of stored data on average. Many companies have far more. This data can provide value by offering more usable, accurate and relevant information at a faster rate, thus enabling businesses to tailor their products and services to their customers' needs, make better business decisions and develop more ingenious products and services in the future.

The Bottom Line for Businesses

Many businesses will require extensive big data consultings in the future in order to stay competitive and continue to grow. With a focused effort to take advantage of the data that is available, businesses in all sectors can be more productive, profitable, efficient and innovative. However, there are many challenges that businesses will inevitably face as they continue to use big data for their own gains. Some industries, such as insurance, finance and electronics providers, stand to gain more than others. Businesses across all sectors may face a shortage of qualified professionals to handle their data needs, and issues such as intellectual property and online security are always going to be concerns. That is why a consulting service can be crucial during this transitional time.

Jim McCann, Information Insight Practice Lead provides decision support and big data analytics solutions for Paragon Solutions and works across the Life Sciences and other industry verticals to deliver capabilities that drive portfolio management excellence.

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