In the realm of technology we spend a lot of time gazing into the future. So enamored with what’s around the corner, we often fail to realize that our world has already changed dramatically whilst we were looking elsewhere.
Take big data for example. Futurists and technologists have long talked about the impact it could have on society. They evangelized about how collecting and analyzing vast amounts of information could be used to create efficiencies, personalize experiences and predict future actions.
However, big data is no longer about next year’s trends – it is making a difference in the here and now. Within the Eptura ecosystem, Condeco specializes in workplace technology, and we’d like to share 5 ways we have already seen big data making business better.
Knowing what customers want and where they want it has long been a formula for business success. Big data is providing that insight, particularly following the rise and triumph of online shopping. Whether it’s the number of times a product was clicked on, the search terms customers use or the reasons why they leave before making the final purchase – the data is now at our fingertips.
All this information can be gathered, analyzed and used to make improvements in retail journeys, product offerings and marketing messages. This analysis can be done on a granular level, understanding what each individual customer likes, for example their favorite colors or styles and the kind of deals that attract them to buy. The result is personalized products, advertised in the right place at the right time. Big data is taking the guesswork out of the way we sell things.
If you can measure it then you can manage – this old saying has never been more apt in the era of big data. Businesses have the information at hand that allows them to see where efficiencies can be made, when there is a need to increase production and to predict what will happen in tomorrow’s markets.
For example, with supply chains, big data is offering information that allows businesses to optimize their transport costs, reroute goods or use different shippers to save money. Stock taking is no longer a six monthly activity but big data can tell us exactly what we have to sell right now, where potential shortages may occur or if we are overstocked. There will always be the need for a smart human mind to fully interpret the numbers but we now have the power to really get a handle on what we’re doing and how we can make it less expensive.
Tracking office utilization
One area of big data close to our hearts is understanding how offices are being used. Incorporated into our software and apps is the ability to track who is going into the office and who is staying at home.You can see which days are the most popular for an office visit, the time people are working and how often your meeting rooms are being occupied.
Using this data means you can then reimagine your office and flexible working policies accordingly so your property assets are being fully utilized and you have the right set up to deal with how your people like to work. Data can also be used to create better visitor experiences as you employ the technology for them to enjoy a seamless day at your office, whether that’s floating through security or finding a desk to sit down and do some work.
Detecting and preventing fraud
The digital world has opened up many more opportunities for fraudsters to steal credit card details or hack into computer systems for valuable information. Big data is playing an important role in preventing this fraud. The technology can spot anomalies in buying patterns and freeze credit cards before criminals have the chance to empty a bank account. It’s also getting smarter at not freezing an account because the legitimate owner of the card has decided to make a big purchase that day.
Big data is also a guardian of our computer systems, able to instantly recognise and patch up potential breaches. With information gathered from across all sorts of devices, vulnerabilities are quickly spotted and dealt with. Cyber-attacks are met with a robust response. Your crucial business information is kept safe.
Making customers even happier
Similar to the ability to track customer trends, big data can also allow us to offer an even better service. Using predictive AI, it’s possible to make a highly educated guess about the issues customers may face even before they get in touch. In turn, this allows us to have the answers they need ready or use automated processes to give them simpler solutions.
The data can suggest when to get in touch with customers because you know when they might require something. You may have seen this, for example, with online greeting card suppliers or florists who remind you that someone’s birthday is coming up soon and suggest a gift. After booking a holiday, last minute panic over travel insurance is becoming a thing of the past as customers are reminded of what’s required before they fly. In short, big data is allowing us to have a shopping experience that goes above and beyond what went before.
Big data and you
If you’re not digging into this big data technology then hopefully we can inspire you to investigate further and see how it can be used for your business. By having the right software providers across all these areas, you can harness data to make your business more effective and resilient to thrive for years to come.