Data is one of the most powerful tools for a modern business to gain a competitive advantage. Is your business ready for the data revolution?
According to some commentators, we are in the throes of the fourth industrial revolution. Technology has changed the way we think about the world and affects every interaction, from ordering a pizza to watching a movie to chatting with our friends.
From a business perspective, it is no different. The outward signs are obvious enough to see, with changes in communication and dynamics, an increase in flexible and remote working practices and so on. But perhaps the biggest game changer concerns data.
Quite simply, we are now producing volumes of data that would have been inconceivable just a few years ago. Today's data comes from a variety of sources: every web search, mouse click and purchase; every like, share and retweet on social media. It all creates its very own data stream, and the business that makes the best use of the insights that are hidden in all that data will be the one that gets an edge over the competition.
Given that it is such a new discipline, our full understanding of just how much we can do with big data is still developing every day. What is clear, though, is that the biggest and most successful organisations in the world are devoting ever more budget into developing their data analytics capacity. Those who fail to capitalise on the opportunity are at risk of being left behind.
Big data in action
It is worth taking a step back and looking at some everyday applications of big data. Here is a perfect example – you might sometimes feel as if you are living in some Orwellian dystopia with Big Brother looking over your shoulder as you search the net for, let’s say, a flight to Amsterdam, then log on to Facebook to be bombarded by banner ads offering you bargain rates for exactly that flight.
There it is, big data in action. Machine processes watch our every move and try to predict what we are likely to do next, and this capacity will grow beyond our wildest dreams over the coming years. It might sound sinister, but all it is trying to do is help us do what we want to do as easily as possible.
Other examples abound – while you sit reading this article, Siri is there on your wrist, quietly keeping an eye on your health and exercise, and your LinkedIn profile is busy looking for a great next step in your career.
From a business perspective, there have already been some major transformations in the finance sector that have been brought about by big data, including enhanced customer service levels and streamlined back office functions. Increasingly, we are seeing data driven technology behind every innovative business practice.
Investing in the new oil
Sopnendu Mohanty is Chief FinTech Officer at the Monetary Authority of Singapore. Never one to turn away from a good soundbite, he has famously described Big Data as the “new oil.” In his words, it has the potential to “power national and international economies.”
Now is the time to ensure we all invest wisely in this precious resource.
Harnessing the power of ERP Software is one of the most cost-effective ways to collate and manage data across your entire business. Talk to one of our expert team members today to find out how Sage 200 or Sage 300 can help empower your business and staff with data.