30 October 2019

Big Data, a crystal ball to predict the future

Every second a huge amount of data is generated throughout an organization’ value chain and production, but are we aware of the importance of exploiting it?

Defining a data obtaining strategy is vital however, it becomes worthless without a strategy of analysis and understanding that allows to drawing relevant conclusions for the improvement of the organization’s processes and its future.

In recent years, technological advances in information have forced organizations to move beyond the conventional use of Big Data. Accessing a large amount of stored data – structured or unstructured – is no longer enough. Big Data Solutions impact the business by enabling it to gain insights that can underpin strategic decisions, identify real-time problems and increase the technology infrastructure security but currently, it is possible to go further. Big Data Solutions allows predicting the future.

Having the ability to anticipate future scenarios is crucial to an organization’s survival nowadays, and in fact, it is not necessary to resort to a crystal ball.

But how is it possible to predict the future through Big Data?

First and the foremost, it must be taken in consideration that identifying patterns, finding trends, problems and opportunities more accurately is only possible by combining technology with a mathematical algorithm, statistical methods and advanced Machine Learning Techniques. Also, it is essential to take into consideration some factors such as market structure, competition, consumer profile, as well as the political level and society.

However, the starting point is always the use of reliable data, which allow the approximation to reality and not to obtain mere projections, based on prejudices or sensations. It starts with collecting data from different sources, from the data server, business reports, satisfaction surveys, customer feedback, product and services reviews, media posts, social media, comments, loyalty programs, macroeconomic indicators, among others.

Misinterpreting our data certainly has serious consequences for our organization. To be able to make a predictive analysis – assertive and correct – it Is necessary to operationalise exercises that allow us to build three distinct future scenarios: The pessimistic, the realistic and the optimistic.

These three scenarios imply taking into consideration the social context in which the organization operates, the economic, technological, environmental and political context. Besides, it is crucial to involve management and executive boards, who can keep strategic thinking properly out of operational thinking.

The advantages of predictive analytics through Big Data are numerous and obvious. For instance, one is to provide the organization with the ability to reduce the number of customers that are about to stop using our product or service. Big Data acts by identifying these signals, giving the organization alerts, time and resources to maintain its customers.

The Predictive analysis seeks to assist business management in the vision of future possibilities in several organization areas. Decisions are no longer merely intuitive, becoming and more logical based on solid and verifiable data examination.

Presently, Big Data not only offers a comprehensive and detailed understanding of our activity but also, allows to foresee and anticipate the future, and consequently to predict market and consumer behaviour.

Opinion article published in Jornal Económico – October, 2019

 José Oliveira BI4ALL
  José Oliveira