“The full potential of big data is still unknown,” said Oracle’s Big Data Strategist Paul Sonderegger at a Big Data Summit hosted by the Mass. Technology Leadership Council in Cambridge a few weeks ago. I couldn’t agree with him more.
His bold and very true statement underlines the strange limbo Big Data is in today. There are so many articles about the power of Big Data and its potential to transform business as we know it. But all too often it’s conceptual, blue-sky thinking. A recent Wired piece, Big Data or Big Hype?, articulated this paradox well. Big Data technologies are not going to solve any problems on their own. They need to be implemented thoughtfully and scaled correctly to solve small problems that bring real results.
And, as we’ve been saying again and again in this forum: data quality matters. Better data, in the right places, can help people mitigate risk, close deals faster and improve profitability. By solving what seem like minor problems on a Big Data scale, businesses can improve their bottom lines.
Consider the power of having real-time access to the latest information on your customers directly in your CRM system. Knowing about leadership changes, expansions, acquisitions and other market events can breathe life into existing client accounts and improve upsell rates by two to three percent. That may not sound like much, but for an enterprise, that small gain can amount to millions of dollars in new revenue.
“Predictive analytics do not predict great things,” Sonderegger said. “Most of the time analytics makes a very small prediction millions of times.” That’s the practical, tangible and incremental side of the Big Data movement today – and it’s every bit as important as the monumental evolution.
Image credit: Austin Kirk