The first companies to experiment with Big Data are household names within the e-com world. Initially small scale projects were developed by the likes of Google, LinkedIn and E-Bay to improve analytic models on a trial basis. They used these trials to identify how and if they could make improvements based on introducing new data sources. Since the beginning, there has been backlash questioning ethics, but over the last decade this type of data collecting has become increasingly popular and gained mainstream acceptance among all sorts of companies and organisations worldwide.
Data collection, whether it be during a sporting event at a venue, at a train station, a local Wifi spot, coffee shop, convention, airport, museum… ( the list can truly go on) there are markets that can benefit from this data. Anywhere a consumer is using a Wifi system, there is an underlying opportunity. Because of the massive growth within this industry we have followed the success of Big Data companies such as Hadoop. This is an extension of Apache Software, it was launched only 4 years ago but is a clear front runner within the Big Data world. Hadoop splits files into large blocks and distributes them across nodes in a cluster. To process data, Hadoop transfers package code for nodes to process in parallel based on the data that needs to be processed. Packages are then processed efficiently and the appropriate data distributed to their customers. Cost reduction is a large benefit across the board for companies that choose to align with this type of large software and data distribution. Some examples of popular companies who have partnered with the Hadoop are Wells Fargo and Citi Bank, to name a few.
Another benefit these companies have seen through Hadoop, is that decision making has become more accurate and efficient. Tom Davenport the llA Director of Research, Harvard professor and Senior Adviser to Deloitte Analytics has conducted many studies in the field. Case study below.
“Caesars, a leading gaming company that has long embraced analytics, is now embracing big data analytics for faster decisions. The company has data about its customers from its Total Rewards loyalty program, web click-streams, and real-time play in slot machines. It has traditionally used all those data sources to understand customers, but it has been difficult to integrate and act on them in real time, while the customer is still playing at a slot machine or in the resort.
Caesars has found that if a new customer to its loyalty program has a run of bad luck at the slots, it’s likely that customer will never come back. But if it can present, say, a free meal coupon to that customer while he’s still at the slot machine, he is much more likely to return to the casino later. The key, however, is to do the necessary analysis in real time and present the offer before the customer turns away in disgust with his luck and the machines at which he’s been playing.
In pursuit of this objective, Caesars has acquired Hadoop clusters and commercial analytics software. It has also added some data scientists to its analytics group.” – Tom Davenport Study
This type of data use and results can vary according to the type of organisation, business model and general needs of the company collecting the data.
Another proven benefit of Big Data collecting is that it helps organisations come up with new products and services for consumers. Companies like Horizon communications who provide high end Wifi systems for stadiums and large venues around the world, now additionally provide customers with a new offering called Captivate. This system offers a way to utilise mobile device data at any location it is installed. To partner with a company like this at a venue you gain multiple levels of data. Even advertisement through the Wifi/Captivate system provides a huge opportunity to corporations and venues alike.
Companies all around the world have now been utilising this Big Data opportunity to their advantage and this movement continues to build momentum. As we adjust our focus to this wave of new information, there is no doubt that the potential will only continue to rise. This will continue to effect business on a multitude of levels and speed up the pace in which many have been trying to keep up with for years. We look forward to the continued rise and evolution of Big Data and the innovative ways we can all grow with this trend.