In order to stay competitive, modern startups are increasingly looking to leverage big data. As a variety of young companies look to go to market with innovative, transformative products and services, data solutions can help pave the way to success.
Big data has become a massive asset in industries ranging from marketing and advertising to inventory management and customer services. Technological advances in areas such as big data storage, machine learning, and data science can help get startup companies off the ground. In fact, a number of startups have risen to prominence simply by leveraging massive amounts of data.
By focusing on what solutions have worked for other startups, a clear roadmap emerges for business leaders.
Big data has provided an unparalleled ability to gain transparency into companies’ customer life cycle, allowing them to understand each and every customer touch point across devices. For retailers in particular, the ability of the modern customer to engage across mobile technology, computers, and brick-and-mortar stores has presented new challenges.
Take, for example, a problem that is all too common in the retail space: When a customer looks at a product online and then purchases it in a store, it’s often the case that the customer will still see recommendations for this purchased item the next time they visit the retailer’s website. A startup can easily overcome this challenge with a turnkey solution that looks to leverage insights from big data and tie customer behavior across devices. By ingesting mobile data, in-store sensors, register transaction data, and even social media, a variety of startups have provided solutions that were previously thought impossible for enterprises.
Another issue for retailers is understanding what customers think about their products and services, especially in the social media space. Given the sheer volume of social media, it’s been impossible to quantify and analyze every specific sentiment for products. But this is changing. Startups have been able to leverage massive cloud computing infrastructure and big data processing to analyze every product mention on the internet, helping industries gain insight into exactly what their customers are saying.
One of the key aspects for a startup looking to leverage big data is to find areas that are ripe for the transformative impact of big data. One major startup, retailer zulily, is an example of a company that found the perfect application of big data in its industry. The company formed a vision for what is now called the zulily Data Platform (ZDP). It planned to make ZDP a primary, central repository for all the business’s data. By providing an Apache Hadoop–based, scalable data platform, the team “was able to move from its vision to an in-production data platform in a mere four months. The new platform enables analytics scenarios that were difficult to achieve with the former technology solution. Zulily now has the ability to scale both storage and analytics on demand.”
Zulily’s success story is a common thread across many startups. The transformative power of big data has also been seen in the healthcare space, as evidenced by the successes that analytics brought to Vizient, a healthcare services company. With the help of big data, Vizient gained a 360-degree view of its patients, leading doctors to better diagnoses and better solutions, and ultimately cutting costs across the board.
Big data clearly has the ability to transform a variety of industries, and people are taking notice. According to the McKinsey Global Institute, the 2016 investment in companies powered by AI (big data) technology was three times the 2013 investment, and Forbes noted that “companies such as Facebook, Google, Amazon, and Apple have bought up hundreds of innovative startups over the past decade.” By finding your pivot point with the use of big data, you can launch massive growth for your company.
Uber and Airbnb showcase an often overlooked path for startups hoping to leverage big data. Both companies focused on geographical areas not limited to their country of origin. By storing, processing, and analyzing huge quantities of data, they were able to gain insight into new demographics and expand their business.
Uber and Airbnb are success stories that offer key insights into structuring your company to scale with a truly global customer base. For a startup, the ability to leverage big data from the outset is often a true differentiator.
For a startup looking to stand out in the crowd, it’s important to look at how big data can help you achieve your vision. By leveraging any of these areas, or the many other opportunities opened up by data and analytics, you’ll be on your way to setting yourself up for future success.
Do you want to ensure success on your big data journey? Watch out for these five missteps.