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Big Data is the tool that has driven many businesses in IT industries for the past few years. For example, Amazon made use of its availability of Big Data by developing the recommendation engine to increase sales. Google used its Big Data by turning the data from search engine queries and web traffic of its customers to develop AdChoice, a tool that analyses what advertisements are suitable for a certain customer. Google’s Director of Research Peter Norvig said “We don’t have better algorithms than anyone else; we just have more data”.
Seeing the outperformance of Amazon and Google gaining benefit from Big Data in IT industry, other industries grow more interest in using this useful tool for better business opportunities; be it building a new business or improving competitiveness. A good example of start-up is PASSUR. Previously, in aviation industry, landing of an airplane was responsible by the pilot. As there are many factors for the pilot to consider at the same time, the landing was not so accurate as it should be. The challenge sparked the business opportunity for PASSUR whose main service is RightETA or estimated time of arrival (ETA) for aviation industry in the United States.
PASSUR designs RightETA to estimate time of arrival of airplanes by using a wide range of flight-related data such as weather, flight schedule, and the data of all planes in the territorial sky of the destination airport. In 2012, the Company received the data from all airplanes every 4.6 minutes. With many dimensions of data, both old and new, RightETA is able to analyse and calculate the data pattern more accurately. The function of RightETA was programmed with the questions like “What happen during the plane landing?” and “What time will it land?” With the accurate estimation of PASSUR’s RightETA, carriers can provide a more accurate landing time and save delay costs by millions of dollars per year.
Apart from the chance for such a new business as PASSUR to shine, Big Data also helps increase competitiveness either in retail business or even election campaigns. Researchers at MIT Media Lab used location data from mobile phones of customers driving into the parking lot of Macy’s the day before Black Friday, the biggest sales event in USA. The data enabled Macy’s to estimate the sales and profits that they might make on Black Friday, which greatly helped them to prepare for the situation beforehand. In Barack Obama’s 2012 election campaign, his team performed in-depth Big Data analysis of millions of his political strongholds using statistics of population and activities that the potential voters did. As a result, the campaign team had well-detailed stronghold groups and the in-depth trend of the political stronghold so that they could adjust the strategy accordingly in a timely manner.
Although it is not easy to use Big Data for the non-IT companies who do not possess a large database at hand, a company should be willing to invest for access to the Big Data. However, investment in data alone is never enough. Having personnel specialised in in-depth data analysis is equally important. So, with its benefits for both IT and non-IT industries to start up new businesses or increase outperforming competitiveness, the use of Big Data in business has become an important issue today.
Getting Control of Big Data, Harvard Business Review October 2012 s
Big Data: The Management Revolution http://video.mit.edu/watch/big-data-the-management-revolution-13683/
Photo by Pujohn Das/ Space10
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