Big Data and Business Process




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If you act on most or all of your big data analysis, odds are that those actions will eventually change how business leaders think and how the business operates. Here is how that works and why it's a great thing to happen!

Most companies turn to big data to understand their customers and improve advertising and marketing investments. It's a great place to start in big data. But in the course of learning who their customers are, how they behave, and what they like, companies inevitably also discover that a few tweaks to their own internal processes can successfully entice customers and increase profits too!

For example, rather than offer loss leader deals and deep discounts to anyone who might buy those products - tactics that prove costly in the end - companies offer those only to their better customers as "a reward. Conversely, companies can offer deep discounts and special deals to new customers and prospects instead. Or, companies can offer a combination of deals and enticements to different layers of customers: best customers that you dearly want to keep; average customers that you want to buy more often; new customers and prospects that you want to draw in and keep; and, customers who somehow dropped off and you want them to return and buy again.

Big data quickly shows you which individuals belong in each of those categories as well as what they are most likely to buy now and in the future.

However, that information isn't the only thing affecting your pricing strategy. Big data can show you, in real time, other things that impact sales such as inclement weather, local community events and road construction blocking one of your store's front door. Our own Department of Agriculture is using Big Data to assess shortages and see which crops will have the better yield based on weather patterns.

In order to leverage and act on all this newfound knowledge, you need a far more flexible and reactive business process. Typically a company then turns to revamp its business processes and pricing strategy in order to profit from what it has gleaned from their data analysis.

Basically, big data changes business processes simply by delivering actionable intelligence which then defines the action. But that's not the only way big data is used to streamline and improve processes, nor is a change in processes the only change businesses will likely affect.
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