The relationship between business and big data is growing ever tighter. This sentiment is expected to intensify as adoption becomes more mainstream and as more solutions that transform data into actionable information begin to appear in the market. A survey performed and published by Gartner towards the end of 2014 has demonstrated that 74% of businesses have plans to invest in big data over the following two-year period, a testament to the growing dependency that businesses have on this technology to remain competitive.
In fact, we do not really have to wait for solutions to appear in the market right now. There are plenty of startups and established businesses that provide B2B services involving big data in one way or another. These services either use the data collected by an individual business to help improve its decision-making process or make use of a repository of data collected across a spectrum of businesses to help streamline certain day-to-day processes — like a machine that learns from past hiccups and mistakes to ensure that you don’t repeat them.
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Either way, investment in the big data scene is expected to reach roughly US$46-billion by 2018, according to analysis by Markets and Markets. That’s a threefold increase from the US$13.7-billion market size in 2013, when the industry really started booming. Considering the sheer amount of businesses that wish to make investments in this particular area, you could say that the market is getting healthier and this is the time to develop a solution that incorporates big data analysis.
That said, the following are a few companies that have proven themselves as highly effective in utilising big data while providing services and platforms for other businesses to improve their rate of growth and productivity.
Businesses running an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system often face many hurdles to overcome when updates, upgrades, maintenance, and deployment activities are at hand.
Read more: What can big data do for small startups?
For businesses that run heavily-customised systems, it is sometimes cheaper in the short-term to keep an old ERP running than upgrading, considering all of the complications, dependencies, and compatibility issues with the newer platform. Panaya eliminates most of these problems by automating the testing process using big data to help understand where potential issues could appear. The company has recently been acquired by consulting giant Infosys to further help its clients automate their business processes.
Have you ever wanted to just grab all of the data you are poring over, construct human-readable graphical representations, and then have it automatically be updated as time goes by?
HiQ specialises in something known as “people analytics,” which is a fancy way of saying that it helps you track demographic shifts and human interactions in real-time with a massive array of different ways to depict this data. It’s extraordinarily useful when you are trying to figure out what makes your next target potential customer tick. Rather than requiring a whole lot of human interference, HiQ uses machine learning to update everything for you.
For those who like to geek around with their data, Splunk is a particularly interesting platform due to the fact that it takes data from any other device and provides the capability to transform it into a visual representation that is accurate and flexible.
Previously a log analysis platform, Splunk has evolved into a solution that allows organizations to gain insight into correlations that otherwise would have gone on undiscovered. This solution is primarily used by companies that heavily rely on technology to analyze their machine data. It also has failover and disaster recovery implemented, so your insights may remain safe even when one of multiple data centers hosting your data experience problems.
Running a hotel often involves trying to establish the right room price based on several different factors, including flight traffic, the price of nearby competitors, and even the weather for the day. If a price is too high, rooms will not be filled to capacity, causing you a loss. If the price is too low, you will fill up rooms too quickly to satisfy the demand.
A room’s price has a “Goldilox Zone” that can only be achieved if you either are a numbers genius with access to an enormous amount of data, or use Duetto to determine all of that for you. Duetto takes all of the data that affects the pricing of rooms in hotels and calculates a recommendation for you on what you should set it at. Utilizing big data analytics, the platform quickly computes the price at which you will satisfy an ideal demand for the product being sold, which is a limited number of rooms in a building for a set amount of days.
Social media has been a tough game for a great number of businesses, especially the smaller players with budgets that don’t exactly inspire confidence. SumAll is a platform that leverages a great many analytics tools and social media outlets to create the ultimate social networking dashboard for business users.
By making use of big data, SumAll manages to monitor your presence across every popular social network and various other online services that have APIs that could be called whenever more data is needed. It is a rather simple platform, but the way in which it functions is rather elegant.
Another tool worth mentioning is Oktopost, a B2B social media platform that startups and businesses should use to check their ROI on social media campaigns.
The big data scene is getting bigger. Service providers are just getting accustomed to what their customers need and want, and they are getting better at providing these needs. As it evolves, big data will be a major driving force in the increased productivity and growth of a number of other startups and businesses. If there’s big takeaway here, it’s that the market is hungry for more innovation. It’s up to you to start making disruptive technologies that will help feed it.