The traditional ways of doing business, learning about the future of business, and discovering and predicting the future of the business have changed forever.
Like never before, entrepreneurs have the power to gain knowledge about everything around their businesses.
Five years ago when I worked in the customs intelligence department we have started a project to bring news articles related to law enforcement in one place. A first goal was to send the newsletter each day to all managers in the law enforcement sector in which all that interesting news articles will be placed. And it was easy with the help of RSS technology and several RSS readers in which we have placed filters according to keywords of our interest as drugs, cigarette smuggling, and so on.
But, after several months of the project, I have noticed that we use only 1% of the potential of all collected data. The first question that comes to my mind then was how I can use all the data to predict the future and finding useful modus operandi from all that data. At that time I already have a technology that can be used, and already have a data collection in one database with 10.000 articles from newspapers related to our primary interest, and only what I need to do was to find an applicable algorithm to analyze that data and present them in a useful form. Looking at that one picture instead of reading 10.000 pages and more, we were able easily to see which days there are biggest possibilities for some type of smuggling, or what politicians from the region were suspected in criminal activities, or what type of vehicles are most used for drug smuggling… Then other departments can prepare their action plans. The project succeeds, especially because after several months we discover that many things presented in that graphic become true.
The power of big data is something really indispensable today. That’s a fact.
Probably you think why is this important for you. Yes, it is important and you can only benefit from using big data in your company. Two of the world’s most-respected data experts, Viktor Mayer-Schönberger and Kenneth Cukier in their book titled “Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work and Think” explain many ways how today big data can be used to ensure your success for your business. According to the authors:
Every single dataset is likely to have some intrinsic, hidden, not yet unearthed value, and the race is on to discover and capture all of it.Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work and Think
In this really exceptional book, authors have outlined the most useful tools and action steps, but instead of the scientific and theoretical language, they are using a collection of successful business stories regardless of this new phenomenon when it comes to using and acting on the basis of big data.
The book will help you to change how you currently see the world. With this new look, you as an entrepreneur will become aware that everything around you can be important and useful if it is collected and correlated with the data that you already possess in your small business. According to the authors:
Seeing the world as information, as oceans of data that can be explored at ever greater breadth and depth, offers us a perspective on reality that we did not have before.
I highly recommend this book because it is something that will prepare you for the future. It is easy to read and full of real-world examples of different ways how one of the biggest companies uses big data in their everyday business operations. On the other side, after reading the book you can see that big data are not a privilege only for big companies, but also small businesses like yours can benefit from them.
Question: Are you using big data in your small business? What are the biggest challenges for you when it comes to big data?