Companies looking to big data to boost decision-making

The ongoing use of cloud computing, mobile devices and social networking both in and outside of the workplace is allowing companies of all sizes to capture, analyze and use more information than ever before. By evaluating this digital data, executives can make more relevant and timely decisions that provide substantial returns in terms of operational improvements and increased customer satisfaction.

Embracing the big data phenomenon is especially important for mid-market businesses, as they often struggle to compete against both large enterprises and smaller entrepreneurs in their industry. A recent Techaisle report highlighted this occurrence, noting that roughly 43 percent of medium-sized organizations are planning to either invest or investigate the use of big data technologies. This is because the prospect of capturing and analyzing information to gain a competitive advantage is too beneficial to ignore.

The study highlighted the difference between the varying organizations, as roughly one-fourth of smaller mid-market companies believe there is an "over-hype" surrounding big data. Conversely, 29 percent of executives believe the ability to analyze, store and use information will be critical to the overall success of their businesses in the coming years.

Yet certain changes need to be made for big data projects to achieve success, as traditional infrastructure environments simply cannot manage the massive volumes of information that are now being accumulated in the business environment.

Putting big data to good use
Legacy storage architectures simply cannot withstand the sheer volume and bandwidth demands needed to constantly export and retrieve information to data warehouses. For this reason, decision-makers should consider using a cloud infrastructure, as the hosted services are much more flexible and agile, allowing employees to move massive volumes of data without worrying about performance issues.

A Gartner report echoed the importance of incorporating the cloud into big data initiatives, as failing to take full advantage of the prospective benefits associated with big data will turn the endeavors fruitless. The inherent scalable qualities of the cloud make it an ideal candidate for hosting large volumes of information and next-generation business intelligence solutions.

By deploying a sophisticated cloud environment, companies of all sizes will be able to capture and evaluate information and use that data to improve their decision-making capabilities. In doing so, executives will be able to boost their ability to operate and potentially gain a competitive advantage over rival firms that do not believe big data initiatives are crucial.

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