What is Big Data—And What Does It Mean for My Business?

Patrick Flesch
Author: Patrick Flesch Date: 03/30/2017

Consider all the data that exists in the world today. No, really, take a moment—text documents, spreadsheets, blogs, videos, images, podcasts, databases, articles, media, social posts—the list goes on. That’s an enormous amount of data, hence it’s being coined “big data.”

Now, consider that 90 percent of that big data has been created in the last two years alone.


Data is being generated faster than ever before, and the development of capable systems to harness and analyze it is having a hard time keeping up, let alone discerning useful information from the useless. Another funny cat video is not going to help you sell more widgets or secure another client. A government report on a safety recall, however, could prove very valuable. Any system that gathers data for your business needs to have the capacity to extract only the right content and then give it back to you in a way that’s organized and understandable.

Why is Taking Advantage of Big Data a Big Deal?

The storehouses of data available to an organization can provide insight into many aspects of its operations and those of its competitors.

Proper information analysis can lead to discovering failures or defects in products before they hit the market, knowing consumer behaviors and trends, detecting breaches in security, identifying inefficiencies and other observations. Using that knowledge can result in reduced costs, better quality, new product developments and highly targeted marketing efforts. Big data allows companies to keep their thumb on the pulse of an industry’s customers and competitors, and can lead to cutting-edge innovations that drive success.

How to Collect and Store Big Data

Many companies do not have the capacity or know-how to capture relevant data. In the past, the sheer volume of data a company might be interested in—not to mention making it decipherable—posed a massive IT problem. With the advent of the Cloud and intuitive software, the challenge is less daunting today.

Finding a secure platform for storing all that data poses another challenge. Any system a company invests in, whether in-house or outsourced, needs to be safe and also scalable to accommodate the daily influx of data. For many, using an outside vendor that specializes in data collection and dissemination, and one that is dedicated to staying on the forefront of technology, is the more economical, secure and time-saving solution.

How to Analyze and Consume Big Data

Transforming data into usable information that actually influences sound business decisions is the ultimate goal. Special software uses algorithms and other functions to sort and process the data from its raw state into a digestible format. Various forms of business intelligence software can store and provide detailed reports from which business owners and other stakeholders can make fact-based decisions backed by tangible, real-time data.

With systems becoming increasingly intuitive and user-friendly, decision makers don’t need to rely solely on highly trained analysts and techno-wizards to decipher the information. Many programs have simple interfaces that allow the average user to easily explore and distill information, run reports and gain insights.

How to Manage Big Data

Big data is here to stay, and strategically using the information gleaned from it needs to be a part of any company’s game plan if they want to remain on the leading edge of innovation and keep a competitive edge. Chances are, you’ll need some help managing it all, but hiring staff to serve in this capacity can be cost-prohibitive. At Gordon Flesch, we have solutions that can bring your big data worries down to size, and we’d be happy to tell you more with a free consultation.

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Written by Patrick Flesch

Patrick joined the Gordon Flesch Company in 2006 as Territory Account Executive and worked his way to become VP of the Sales for the company’s Western Region. Today, Patrick is President of the Gordon Flesch Company.

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