Data is all around us, and whether we are aware of it or not, virtually everything we do now results in the generation of new data. Every electronic message that we send and receive, every internet site we visit, even something as simple as withdrawing money for groceries from our bank, all of this contributes to the vast stores of data that both governments and private corporations currently hold on us. Data is a commodity in today’s world and one whose value is all but incalculable. By most predictions, it is currently a more valuable commodity than oil.
Given the enormous value that data has, it is probably of no surprise to anyone to discover that within the realm of business, it has the potential to be a particularly lucrative investment. The collection and analysis of large sets of data allowbusinesses an unprecedented level of insight into the behavior of their customers, and of entire markets.
The rise of data analytics has been a real game changer for the world of business, but the average person remains largely unaware of exactly how much power businesses have through data analytics. In this article, we take a look at just some of the ways that this new field of study is radically altering the business landscape.
Not all the data that businesses collect is related to individuals outside the organization. In fact,the majority of the data that businesses are interested in is collected and analyzed internally. With modern technology, it is trivially easy to collect data from employees as they work. This data can provide insight into how individual employees are performing, as well as the business as a whole.
This data can be used to identify patterns that would otherwise have been unknowable and, therefore, can lead to astonishing efficiency gains.
Understanding the Market
It is only with the advent of modern computing power, and the development of certain algorithms, that it has become possible for very large datasets to be collated and then analyzed. We refer to this analysis process as ‘mining’. As with other types of physical resources, data is collected in a raw form and then must be refined to be of use to us.
This means that data can be collected from very large numbers of people, far more than we could ever hope to reach when collecting ‘by hand’. This data reveals information about entire markets, groups far too large for us to have gained in-depth knowledge of by other means.
Outside of Business
To truly appreciate the power of data, it needs to be understood just how powerful it is, not only in business but in everyday life. It isnow playing a role in developing artificial intelligence, tracking diseases, and there is even data science in sports, which can be studied at degree level. The world of sport is far removed from that of business, and yet the same techniques can be deployed to gain an equally deep understanding of the field, which really shows how powerful data analysis is.
Data analytics is changing the world. Whether it is the field of business or of sport, the possibilities that are now being realized were unthinkable just a few years ago. We are entering the age of data and, so far, it seems like an age of limitless potential.