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Big Data Analytics: Why you need a business analytics expert and where can you get one

You’ve heard all the latest buzzwords: big data, data warehousing, business analytics…Why should you pay attention to big data in 2014? Here are some reasons to give big data more thought and why hiring a business analyst might help.

1. Everyone talked about it and now everyone’s doing it

In 2014 companies actually get a chance to put everything that was hyped about Big Data technology to practice. The technology is now advanced enough to get real insights from unstructured data (the reason behind the rise in use of big data in the first place). Many companies have begun using data warehousing solutions for storing enormous amounts of information, but also modifying it to create custom applications that better match their needs. The biggest challenge now is making sure that data can be analyzed in a productive way, and that it can be expressed in a way that is understandable and usable (because simply collecting and storing data is not making you any money).

2. Not just peer pressure – but possibility for deriving real value

The reason why companies are more likely to engage in business analytics is because it provides real value. Big data could lead to real productivity gains by many companies. For example Amazon derives 35% of its sales from product recommendations, which it makes using data from previous purchases (according to GP Bullhound’s report). Not to mention, the retail and manufacturing industries could experience an increase of $325 billion in annual GDP by 2020 from increased efficiency by using big data analytics as a productivity tool. So it is peer pressure – but with really good rewards.

Big Data Analytics: not just data warehousing, but effective analysis too3. Data availability will grow in the future

The availability of data is projected to increase over 44% in the next six years. That’s largely because customers will begin to give up certain aspects of their privacy for more personalized products. For example, receiving coupons for products that customers are likely to buy anyway creates a win-win situation for both retailer and customer. Either way, Big Data is here to stay and starting to experiment with it should be done sooner rather than later.

Think you might need a business analyst soon? Good.
Unfortunately, compared with the giant demand for big data analysis, finding the right business analyst can be a bit more complicated. The BA industry is projected to create roughly 2 million jobs in the coming years, but only about one third are expected to be filled. How can your company become a data-driven enterprise and make use of data-driven applications, especially if you’re not sure what your company data needs are or where to find the right people?

Big Data: It's not just the amount, but the variety1. Learn about the unknown

There are many people who still do not understand big data and what it can do for their business. Going to conferences such as the Innovation Enterprise’s Business Analytics Summit or reading articles about Big Data is a good start.

2. Determine your big data needs

Big data is not just about the amount of data you collect. Rather, “big-data is high-volume, high-velocity and high variety information assets that demand cost-effective, innovative forms of information processing for enhanced insight and decision making”. Does your business need to collect information on the weather to figure out if it affects sales? The more variety of data you want to process, the more complicated your analytics will become.

3. Get help

No one becomes a big data guru overnight. And if your company doesn’t have the capability to build a whole new analytics department from scratch, get help. If you don’t have expertise in data warehousing and acquiring business intelligence from your data, then it might be a good idea to turn to a company that has business intelligence development experts you need.

Contact us for more information on how to get value from your big data.

Photo courtesy of gerard79 via stock.xchng