There is a really big term being tossed around the business world these days and it’s called Big Data. You’ll read about it on blogs and in business journals with the same frenzy given to earlier technology shifts, including social media, SEO, and cloud computing. But is Big Data truly the next big thing for business success? Maybe it depends on what business you are in, but the answer is probably a resounding yes.
Big Data is making a big splash across many industries
Big Data is basically the streaming of extremely high volumes of raw data that can be analyzed quickly in real time to give you more knowledge to guide your business decisions.
Using Big Data, companies large and small can enhance their services, create new services to meet demand, and basically create new business models with more assurance than ever before. How? Not because Big Data is a magic bullet, but because if you are asking the right questions, Big Data can give you the right answers quickly and easily.
Let’s look at how it impacts different industries:
- Insurance companies can use real time “Big Data” to take the guesswork out of their predictive analytics. Actuaries don’t have to “guess” when real time location data can give better insight to where, when and how people live, drive their cars, and more. For example using Big Data, a car insurance company could analyze a car’s maintenance history to get a better idea of the recklessness of a driver. As more customers interact with insurers online, more and more data is generated giving a bigger pool of potentially useful information.
- Big Data is also extremely useful for the healthcare industry as it can be used as predictive analytics to reduce hospital readmissions or to fill holes in a patients chart by data mining other records.
- Banks and mortgage companies also find Big Data very useful for creating services for its customers, determining mortgage risk and more.
Is Big Data good for small business?
Small businesses certainly can benefit from real time data, although access to data warehouses or hiring people to properly analyze the data might seem cost prohibitive.
One area that small and large businesses alike might benefit from Big Data without a lot of investment on their end is through Managed Print Services (MPS). Most MPS providers today provide Big Data to their clients, which mean if you get the right provider to help improve your printing efficiencies you can also use the data they gather to build your business too.
Let’s look at a few ways Big Data and MPS can work together to benefit your company:
- Better analytics. A good MPS provider uses document management software that allows for better collaboration between departments for analytic purposes
- Easier digitization of your business documents. By giving you Scan to PC capabilities, an MPS provider allows you to better control, store and organize your business data
- Better data sorting. Using Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology, many MPS tools actually read documents for better sorting and organization—with less manpower on your end.
- Cloud Storage. MPS also provides you with the ability to store and access business data and documents in the cloud, which also saves resources and space.
In short, Big Data is a big thing. No matter the size of your business it pays to start investing in Big Data solutions, either independently or through a good MPS provider.
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