Big data is now commonly used in everyday conversation. About it, we read. Companies that claim to be “big data experts” are visible. Engineers and analysts with expertise in this field can be found in abundance on LinkedIn. However, what exactly is big data, where does it originate from, and why is it so commonly used today, although it wasn’t ten years ago?
In essence, it is just what it sounds like. Big. Data. It comprises a huge number of 0s and 1s that have various meanings. The data sets are so huge and complicated that we can no longer interpret or handle them using the Excel or Access analytical tools that we are used to. So even if it is a hot topic, it is not brand-new.
The significant news is that the data is now available in real-time rather than taking weeks to become available and no longer needs to be formatted to evaluate. I recall when I worked in banking and had a month to study a batch of trades. Finding someone to talk to alone would take a week. The next step was to establish a rapport and articulate my needs. I didn’t receive my answers for another week after that.
All of this wasteful activity has been stopped. We now have access to a live, helpful system that can respond to inquiries concerning transactions as they take place. Data could not previously be stored flexibly. This is achievable because of the current innovations, which make it readily available.
People & Process
Big data is a term for the potential problems we face as more and more information about every area of our lives becomes accessible. But it’s not just about the data; it also involves the individuals, systems, and analysis that gives this context. To put it another way, simply because we have more information does not necessarily mean we have all the solutions.
We must gain knowledge and insights from it to make it usable. Unfortunately, most businesses fall short at this point. They continue to gather more data but never put it to use. They don’t always even report it.
Tapping into the Big data
Take data from kiosks and airplanes. Airlines compile performance and usability data. This contains the number of days and/or hours the kiosk was operational and/or used. Additionally, it contains information about usability and user experience (UX), such as which interface screen customers abandon most frequently. Additionally, it includes a range of transactional data, such as how quickly users might interact with a kiosk.
Does this information help, even if it was collected for a year? Nope.
How to make use of the data?
This is important for people who work in customer experience because it lets us rule the data and be in charge of the insights and messages that come from it.
We can set up a dynamic maintenance contract so that repairs are only done after a certain number of kiosks are used. This would replace the fixed maintenance cycle every three months for all kiosks (i.e., lower maintenance costs).
Think about the ways we can use data that reveals consumer churn. That knowledge enables a CX specialist to address the issue and boost self-service conversion. More savings for the business as a result! Transaction speed insight makes maintaining service level agreements (SLAs) simpler if a corporation has them with business partners.
In other words, this is a source of enormous power and leverage when the proper critical thinker is on top of it. And for that reason, it should concern us all.
Therefore, when one of these businesses approaches your company and claims to be able to empower your data, ask them who will be drawing insights from that power. Additionally, make sure to assemble a knowledgeable staff on your own who can work their magic. Once that is in place, develop appropriate questions to stoke the competitive advantage engine you can create with big data!