Ninety percent of all the data in the world was created in the past two-three years, according to SINTEF independent research.
Take a moment to picture that line graph. That means that in the past few years, humanity has generated nine times more data than in all previous years put together. That rate of data generation growth is likely to continue for the foreseeable future and, if the continued growth of the Internet of Things is taken into consideration, it may actually accelerate.
It’s no wonder, then, that so many corporations are considering a move into the “Big Data” arena. There is an undeniable need for new solutions and strategies to deal with the deluge of data that is now available to businesses, and another way to spell “need” is “opportunity.”
When starting out in Big Data, a company should consider the following five strategies.
1. Don’t provide data, provide insights
Sorting and collating relevant data might have been enough in the past, but that is no longer true. Businesses expect more these days. They don’t just want the data; they want to know what the data means, and more specifically, what it means for them. They want insights.
2. Solve the hard problems
Widespread use of the term "Big Data" in the media has, in some cases, led to the misperception that the industry is more mature than it actually is. But Big Data is still a young, new space, and that means many of its biggest problems remain unaddressed. In these situations, the company that solves the difficult problems first can often remain at the front of the pack indefinitely.
3. Build an ecosystem
Successful companies won’t settle for making an application or even a platform, both of which merely allow clients to accomplish specific tasks. They'll build an ecosystem that enables clients to evolve and thrive as their needs change. In addition to providing better value, they’ll be ensuring that it’s in their clients' best interests to rely on them for current and future needs.
After creating an operational ecosystem, successful Big Data businesses will concentrate on developing domain-specific expertise and making it a fundamental part of core applications. Focusing on specific use cases will make their brand the de facto solution within those domains.
User experience (UX) is important. Very important. Yet too often the user interface is an afterthought, tacked onto the guts of the application solely to provide some means of control. UX design should proceed and evolve hand-in-hand with the stuff under the hood so as to provide a seamless and intuitive user experience. The most powerful analytics application in the world is useless if the people who should be using it don’t — whether it’s because they can’t figure out how it works or just hate the way it looks.
Big Data is an exciting new space overflowing with opportunities to succeed and, while it may remain an exciting space for years to come, the windows of opportunity won't remain open forever. Once those windows close and the dust settles, it will be the companies that followed these five strategies that will be the next big thing in Big Data.