Big data opens new doors to competitive advantage, analysts say

The advent of social media and other public portals has given companies the unique ability to capture more insight on consumer behavior and trends, allowing organizations to develop more intuitive products that meet evolving user demands. Since the volume of this information is so large, hence the name big data, companies are often forced to look for alternative ways to harness, analyze and leverage it.

Big data is certainly becoming a significant priority for businesses, but is not the only informational trend taking place, according to a new report by Gartner.

"Big data is a topic of growing interest for many business and IT leaders and there is little doubt that it creates business value by enabling organizations to uncover previously unseen patterns and develop sharper insights about their businesses and environments," said David Newman, research vice president at Gartner.

A separate report by Jaspersoft revealed that more than 60 percent of companies have already deployed a big data initiative or plan to do so within the next 12 months to enhance customer experience analytics, marketing campaigns or conduct financial risk assessments.

While big data gives companies more information about their selling market, Gartner analysts believe companies should also make it available to the public to truly gain an advantage.

"[For] clients seeking competitive advantage through direct interactions with customers, partners and suppliers, open data is the solution," Newman said.

How open data can help companies

Generally speaking, open data is when information is readily available on the web, accessible to anyone who wishes to use it. Open data strategies can support a large number of business practices, helping an organization grow, generate revenue and potentially gain a competitive advantage over rival firms. As a result, Gartner analysts believe these initiatives should be a top priority for companies in the coming years, especially as cloud computing and other scalable virtual environments become more commonly deployed.

"With tight budgets and continued economic uncertainty, organizations will need leaders who can craft breakthrough strategies that drive growth and innovation," Newman said. "As change agents, enterprise architects can help their organizations become richer through strategies such as open data."

As information becomes more widely available to companies around the world, sharing those records will become increasingly important for an interconnected web landscape, allowing companies to grow.

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