Organizations can benefit from big data by finding new opportunities and hidden value in large and diverse data sets, giving them a competitive edge in choosing their markets and setting their strategies.
- [Instructor] You may work in a massive multinational corporation or you may work in a scrappy young startup, but no matter where you work, you have to make decisions about how you're going to make your business work and reach its potential. And data should always be central to those decisions. Now, maybe you have a simple situation. Maybe you already have consistent profits going up and up and up each month so in that case, you know, just keep doing what you're doing, do more of same 'cause you know, maybe you've cornered the market on some new wonder widget and you're growing 10x every year. By all means, just keep what you're doing and enjoy your uninterrupted prosperity. But reality is rarely that simple, customers' attention wonders, competitors arise, the market gets saturated and economic environments changes so you have to adapt in that case. Also, you need to identify potential profits, things that you could do to add to your business and potential risks, things that potentially represent a threat to your operations. Now, you can use data to answer these questions and maybe you've got some simple methods, maybe you just look at your sales numbers in a database up, up, up, down, up, up. Or maybe you have customer data in CRM software that's customer relationship management and CRM software can be very basic, it can be very sophisticated, depends on what you have. Also, you have social media accounts and you have websites and you can look at the built-in analytics for each of those. Those can give you individual images into what's going on in your business. But there's a major problem with all of those approaches: everybody's doing them. Remember, if you're in the business world, you're in a competitive environment and you need a competitive advantage. So it's pretty obvious that you can't simply do the same things that all of your competitors are doing. At best, you would keep even with them. But it won't put you ahead, you need a competitive advantage and this is where big data comes in. Remember, big data is data that's characterized by its unusual volume, its high velocity, and its astounding variety of formats and sources. What these together mean is that big data has the potential of giving you a competitive advantage in your business' operations. There's a few different things, for instance, you can identify new patterns in your data, you can find relationships, you can find trends that other people can't because you're able to look at it in a more detailed nuanced and responsive way. You can use novel data sources, this is a cell I know some local companies that do amazing work on biological experiments connecting hundreds of thousands per week, then using microscopes to take photos of the cells and then using artificial intelligence to process those photos, it's a novel data source, it's extremely high quality data and it's actually allowing them to get a huge advantage in the pharmaceutical market. Also, the intelligent use of big data through data science, machine learning and artificial intelligence allows you to adapt dynamically in real time, not just quarterly or monthly or yearly. It allows you to identify new trends and new markets and start engaging with them immediately. You can become an agile organization through the proper use of big data. Now let me say just a little bit more about each of these. With the new patterns, big data brings in with it a whole new suite of new algorithms, new ways of processing. It's true that a lot of traditional methods likely in your regression can be extraordinarily effective with the proper data. But sometimes your questions go beyond that and you do need the algorithms that come with the big data revolution. You can focus on exceptional cases and especially 'cause you're going to have a lot of data, remember, it's big data, you're going to have a lot of data and you can focus on those edge cases and identify possibly a new niche that's been untapped. You can follow nonlinear patterns, many other methods assume you can draw a straight line or put a flat plane through it, many of the big data methods allow you to get much more intricate than that and there's new methods for identifying clusters of potential clients of maybe a subgroup that has not been completely addressed. By using the methods that come along with the big data, you have the potential of identifying these new patterns. Now novel sources, social media posts are a tremendous way of getting unfiltered and unprompted data from your potential audience. You're going to want to look at product reviews both on big e-commerce sites and also things like bloggers who review things for their own audience. That's going to give you amazing insight but again, because it's an unusual kind of data, is video data or it's unstructured text, that means big data and that means you're going to need that whole toolset that comes along with it to get the information out of that. Or you can actually use satellite imagery, there are many companies, large companies, that use satellite images of their competitors' parking lots to determine how many people are there, how many people are going in and out and at what time as a way of understanding who they're up against in their operations. Or sensor data, again, this is part of the high velocity element of big data and that could be one of the novel sources you use in getting a competitive advantage. And then the adaptability or the agility, you can quickly spot changing trends by casting a much wider net. Again, using the naturally arising social media data, looking at these immediate trends, you can anticipate changes in things like shipping costs or vendor productivity, or other things that influence your supply chain. You can adapt your pricing to the competitive environment. There's times that you're going to need to change your pricing and your model to better meet both what's going on around you and the abilities of your intended audience. By looking at the big data that's available, again, the high volume, the high velocity and the great variety, you can get these insights that you cannot get through standard methods, and again, when you get new data and you get new methods, you have new insight and you get a competitive advantage for your business.
- How does big data fit in the modern data universe? Explore big data’s impact on data science, artificial intelligence, and machine learning, and the methods used with big data.