|By Bob Gourley||
|September 27, 2015 06:00 AM EDT||
Commercial Use Cases: Five Companies Using Big Data to Make Money
By Rick Delgado
Big Data is the revolution the business world has been waiting for. The transformation that has taken place among many companies due to the adoption of Big Data analytics simply can’t be understated. Organizations of all types have looked into the many ways in which big data can help them change how they do things for the better, cultivating more success as businesses look to the future. For all the benefits that big data provides companies, the main goal is, of course, to make money. In fact, with all the capabilities that come from using big data, if a business isn’t utilizing it to make money, it’s almost a waste of time. But there’s no single way to turn a bigger profit from Big Data. The following examples show the various strategies specific businesses are using to get the most out of all the data they collect and analyze.
While the oil and gas industry is still a lucrative one, overall costs are going up due to the higher price of extraction. Shell has noticed the trend and is using big data to find new oil deposits all around the world. Building a new drilling site is no small investment, so obtaining accurate information about it before drilling is essential. With big data, Shell is able to record millions of data readings, indicating not just the presence of oil or gas but the likely amount that can be drilled. Shell is also using big data to ensure its machines are running efficiently. This is done through IoT technology, using embedded sensors that indicate if a piece of equipment is about to break down.
Much like other companies, Cosco collects detailed information on their customers. This can be used to change up their marketing strategies, but Costco uses that data for other purposes as well. Because it gathers data on every single purchase their customers make, the company knows exactly who bought what, where, and when. In the case of a recent recall of a tainted fruit, Costco was able to contact every person who purchased the fruit within 24 hours. This type of response inspires customer loyalty, leading to greater revenues in the future.
Southwest is no stranger to using Big Data. The information they collect on their customers is specifically used to determine what types of new customer services they should implement company-wide. The data is also used for marketing purposes, as Southwest makes individualized pitches of their products, services, and offers. The company also keeps track of customer behavior, all in an effort to ensure the offers are tailored to specific customers, encouraging more loyalty and better service all around.
While Affectiva may not be as well known as other companies on this list, their technology is definitely being put to good use. Affectiva has created facial recognition software that can collect data on people’s emotions and reactions. This is usually used to see how people react to using a company’s products or a business brand. Major corporations like Coca-Cola and Unilever have taken advantage of the technology, which uses big data from multiple points to accurately gauge reactions and moods. This software will likely see a lot of use in the future.
No discussion of companies successfully using Big Data would be complete without mentioning Netflix. The company has long gathered meticulous data about customers’ viewing habits, determining what movies and shows they watch, when they watch them, at what point they stop playback, and many other details. This has lead to the creation of almost 80,000 microgenres. This in turn leads to better recommendations and happier customers. Netflix also uses this data in their content creation as many of their shows are based off of the preferences of their customers.
From these examples, it becomes clear there is no one correct way to use big data to make a company successful. Making money can happen with plenty of different strategies, and analysis from ad hoc data makes all of it possible. Companies will continue to experiment with new big data techniques, leading to better customer experiences and faster growth. With more experience in big data analytics, companies will become more adept at using it, making for more responsive businesses that address customer needs and concerns more effectively.
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