Big data and its implications are impacting every business from one-person companies to Fortune 500 enterprises. As data collection, analytics and the interpretation of that data become more readily accessible, they will have an impact on every business in several important ways, regardless of what field you operate in or the size of your business.
Today, even the smallest companies produce data. Whether you have a website, a presence on social media, or you accept credit card payments, you have data that you can collect from your customers, their user experience, and more. And you have the ability to analyze this data to improve your customer's experience and thus improve your business.
Big data enables companies to collect more and better marketing data about you, giving companies a better idea of what you want, what you will use, and what channels you typically use to buy. This could sound a little scary to some, but on the other side, companies will need to proactively create and maintain privacy policies and the systems/security needed to protect your data.
While companies are continuously seeking new opportunities to benefit from data collection, data protection in the EU is becoming more strict. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) imposes new requirements on personal data and grants stronger rights to individuals. GDPR presents several new challenges that should be taken into account. Some of the trickiest ones for companies collecting and processing personal data include the added requirement of data subject consent, and the ability to restrict the processing of personal data from taking place altogether.
In general, I believe that big data will be used primarily to improve the customer experience. But it is also used to monitor employee environmental conditions while working. For examples, sensors, barometers, cameras, and microphones can be used to identify when working conditions are outside the norm. They can also be used to detect locations and even postures and body movements of humans to sense a fall, track someone's location or estimate the physical load on a body.
Big Data is increasingly being used by prominent companies to outpace the competition. Be it established companies or start-ups, they are embracing data-focussed strategies to outpace the competition. Big data has opened up a whole new world of possibilities, and continues to change how we do business, inside and out.