One of the key trends in IT over the last 12 months has been the rise of big data, which it has been said could lead to huge changes in the way firms do business. By adequately analysing and evaluating the information firms collect from their customers, it's said to be easier than ever to identify trends and patterns early and react accordingly. In the past though, it's been mainly thought of as a solution only for large enterprises. After all, it takes up a large amount of resources to not only store, but process this data. But this may no longer be the case. Dedicated servers are affordable enough for any firms, while the applications needed to analyse the information are also more freely available than ever.
'New democracy' for data
Business and financial management solution provider Intuit said technology advances are driving in a new era of "data democracy" that enables businesses of all sizes to make smarter, better informed decisions thanks to the wealth of extra information available to them. Partner at Emergent Research Steve King added: "We are at the onset of a data revolution that will provide new and meaningful ways for data-empowered consumers and small businesses to connect and engage with their communities, make decisions and simplify their lives."
What does it mean for you?
While this might seem complex, what it could mean in real terms for your business is an ability to spot changing or emerging trends quickly and alter your operations to take full advantage ahead of your rivals. It could also allow you to identify any weaknesses in your current activities - for example if you're an ecommerce firm, it could highlight where in the shopping process potential customers abandon their carts. This can let you zero in on a problem and fix it before it costs you any more sales. Intuit added consumers will also benefit from big data, using the insights gained to stay connected and easily "navigate the maze of modern life".