There has been a buzz about Big Data for quite a while now. Some swear by it, others are trying to grapple with its reach, and some simply choose to deny its usability. However, there is nobody who can ignore it.
Big Data not just helps give useful insights about products, people, and industries – it also enables companies to find and capture new opportunities, generate new revenue, and create tomorrow’s trends. That’s why companies are striving to make the best use of it.
The new-generation companies have already gained massive amounts of profit by making the right use of previously unutilized, inaccessible or unusable information given to them by Big Data, which has successfully proven to the whole world that the dependence on it is just going to increase.
A recent report from SNS Research suggests that Big Data investments will account for more than $72 Billion by 2020 – a 12% increase in CAGR from $46 Billion in 2016.
However, Big Data stands true to its name and comes out truly big, which somewhere becomes tough to handle. Its benefits are countless but being able to manage its complexities and vastness has become quite a task for the companies, and this useful trend comes with its own set of challenges.
Identifying the Right Data
Big Data is exploding. It is being produced 24×7. And the obvious truth is that data will always keep on increasing. No matter how much structure you give to its form, you will be inundated with more data from unstructured sources like social media, surveys, sensors, blogs, etc. and taking everything into account will always pose a challenge.
Of course, technology comes as a sigh of relief here as it’s always becoming better, giving us new ways to analyze data in a more controlled format. But identifying the right data is a tremendous challenge you need to deal with.
Finding the Right People
After all, big data is just data. Although there’s sophisticated software present to help decipher it, you still need the set of individuals who have skills, knowledge, and interest to take a deep dive into the data world and formulate something tangible enough to be used by the companies to gain useful insights and open new revenue streams.
It’s not that highly skilled developers, data scientists, and analysts are not available – it’s that their demand is definitely more than the supply.
Securing the Big Data
There will be 6.4 billion connected devices in use worldwide by the end of 2016, and that number is expected to grow nearly three times by 2020. While the proliferation of these devices opens floodgates of information that companies can use to deliver better experiences to their customers, it also creates a huge challenge – data security.
According to a study conducted by HP, 70% of IoT (Internet of Things) devices are unprotected and vulnerable. MySpace, Anthem, JP Morgan Chase, Yahoo, eBay, Adobe – all these big companies and many more like them have suffered from a massive data security breach in recent years.
What I want to point out is that your data is under constant threat. And if you want to make the most out of that data and at the same time don’t want to get your information compromised, you need to constantly ask yourself how you can protect your customer data and take stringent measures to keep it safe.
Some of the other challenges include not having the right set of company values, not having enough trust and belief in Big Data, or just being in denial of its importance. This is a huge issue as it’s more fundamental to the adoption of this trend, a trend that just cannot be overlooked in a world where there are so many mediums that affect the fate of even the most successful companies.
The aforementioned challenges definitely act as boulders in the way of companies that want to grow big or sustain their position, or the ones that are trying to realize Big Data’s full potential. Businesses that are looking forward to leveraging Big Data definitely need to spend wisely, invest in the right people and technology at the right time, and promote a culture of security. Once the perfect balance is acquired, Big Data’s reach and the effect would be astoundingly brilliant to watch and experience.
This article is written by Mohsin Syed. He is the Executive Vice President at KiwiTech, who is passionate about helping people with digital technology and managing strategic partnerships. He loves to share his extensive experience through consulting, speaking, writing and mentoring. Follow him on LinkedIn.