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What Are Companies Doing with Big Data?

Businesses have long heard that big data is the future, driving how brands interact with their customers. To remain competitive, marketers must find ways to not only extract and study data but also put that information to use in bettering their daily operations.

But businesses of all types, in all industries, are already using data analytics. Whether through services like Google Analytics or through tools in applications like Salesforce, big data is already an active part of business today. This means if you aren’t already using data in your business efforts, your competitors likely are. Here are a few big ways companies are already using data analytics.

Creating Products

According to data from IBM, 58 percent of consumer products companies are using analytics to remain competitive. One company implementing big data into its product approach is Nike, which put science to use to come up with a technology that cuts dyeing time by 40 percent and energy consumption by 60 percent. The new process reduces its factory’s carbon footprint by 25 percent. Like Nike, many brands are taking numbers seriously in their approach to creating new products, finding that when they have facts in place first, their designs are more likely to connect with customers effectively.

Loan Approvals

Borrowers beware. Loan officers have already begun putting big data to use in learning as much as possible about applicants before approving their loans. One lender making use of the technology is LendUp, a website designed to provide loans to those who have bad credit. The site uses a sophisticated algorithm that combines an applicant’s demographic information, credit history, and social media postings to predict a person’s reliability. The site says its ideal borrower is a single mother with a poor credit history who would rather borrow through the site than visit a payday loan location in a dangerous part of town.

Hiring Decisions

It’s probably no surprise that Google was at the forefront of the new trend of “people analytics.” Through its People Operations department, the company applies data and analytics to all areas of employee recruitment and retention. One flaw in this approach, however, is that it lacks the human touch. A person may pass all the tests and be great for a position on paper but a manager may still have an instinct that he isn’t the right fit for the job. It’s important that even as businesses put data analytics to use in guaranteeing success in hiring that they still use human instinct in making the final decision.

Choosing Providers

When businesses put their money into a vendor, they usually want to make sure they’re making the right choice. Thanks to big data, businesses now have the information they need to make a fully educated decision. Services like SiteGeek watch a service provider’s behavior and report back on it, which means a business can see just how reliable a website host is before signing a year-long contract. Analytics are also being used to track airlines’ on-time statistics, making the entire industry answerable for any delays or cancellations. As the demand for data analytics grow, these types of monitors will likely become commonplace across all industries.

Customer Service Levels

As businesses grow, call center management becomes more difficult. Management can’t listen in on every call, forcing them to wait until a customer files a complaint to take action on problem workers. Using advanced voice analyzing software, United Healthcare analyzes call center conversations to determine customer satisfaction levels.

Brand Marketing

One of the most popular uses for data analytics is in creating and refining marketing campaigns. Marketers in all industries are deploying campaigns, gathering data on results, and tweaking those campaigns for more success. The practice is so popular, analytics are built into many of the marketing platforms businesses use today, including Facebook, Twitter, email campaign creation software, and CRM tools like Salesforce.

Whether your business is launching a new marketing campaign, preparing a product for release, or trying to improve your customer service, big data can help. When you conduct research in advance, you’re far more likely to be successful in your efforts than if you simply fly blind. In this new competitive marketplace, it’s more important than ever that brands make the best use of data science in their efforts.