Date Archives December 2018

Big Data, Bigger Revenues

If recent developments inside the world of technology are anything to go by, it is clear that the greatest innovations of the future are going to be driven and fuelled by data. So huge is the potential of big data analysis that its impacts have been felt outside the world of technology as well, in areas as diverse and surprising as a business, art, healthcare, and entertainment. The technologists of today have their sights firmly set on the future, and big data analytics are a crucial part of the picture they envision.

What is Big Data?

A standard definition of big data is “extremely large data sets that may be analysed computationally to reveal patterns, trends, and associations, especially relating to human behaviour and interactions.” Let’s break this down to its essence. Big data is fundamentally a huge collection of data from various sources, that tells us something interesting and useful about ourselves and our world. The process of deriving that information from the big databases, of course, is what is referred to as big data analysis. The output of such analysis can take several forms. As the definition tells us, it can help us detect patterns in the data our interactions generate or identify the trends that the naked eye might let slip, or figure out the associations between different phenomena. The bottom line is that big data is an extremely useful tool.

What Does Big Data Tell Us?

The applications of big data and analytics are manifold. It is now frequently used in healthcare, where huge amounts of information are generated. Big data helps by helping the healthcare system provide personalized healthcare plans, designed for every patient by studying the data they generate. It is used in manufacturing to reduce the downtimes of systems and incorporate transparency. It also helps with output predictions, supply planning, and increasing overall quality and efficiency. The entertainment and media industry is not far behind either, with several services using big data analysis to present audiences with content that they specifically will enjoy. For example, Netflix has a famously accurate matching algorithm for viewers and content they may enjoy. It also helps in targeting advertisements, monetizing content, and coming up with new ideas for products.

Governments themselves have begun to foray into the field, allowing them to have much higher efficiency and much lower costs, all the while increasing productivity and encouraging innovation. Cybersecurity and intelligence systems also stand to benefit from big data analysis. Big data solutions have revolutionized each of these fields and brought in huge changes in how well they function.

Bigger Revenues with Big Data

So far we have looked at how big data has changed the functioning of several industries. It stands to reason, then, that these drastic changes in approach and process, will reflect on the revenue of these industries. In the modern marketplace, big data is an invaluable asset. Companies are engaged in a constant struggle to gain control of the big data market. This is no surprise, as big data revenue i.e. the revenue generated by firms whose technology consists significantly of big data tools, only keeps shooting up with every passing year.

Thus we have established that big data management leads to more revenue. Perhaps the most significant achievement of big data tools has been an increase in productivity. Management of various companies can use big data analytics to figure out the factors that are affecting productivity, thus empowering them to correct them. Productivity-improving policy changes can then be made, and every individual can be helped in the process of becoming the most successful version of themselves.

Decision making itself is always a beneficiary of big data analysis solutions. The more data that informs a decision-making process, the more guaranteed is its success. Unlike mere mortals, data does not suffer from subjective biases, making it perhaps a better decision maker than humans. Similarly, big data analytics also helps recruiters make better choices while hiring employees. Big data analytics tools can be used to identify the problem areas in the talent pool of the company, recommending shortages that need to be filled. Companies can then hire exactly those candidates who will help them fill these gaps, thus balancing out the power of their workforce. It can also help companies retain their workers, by identifying the key areas in which workplace satisfaction can be enhanced.

With so many applications, there is no doubt that data gives a company a competitive edge over another company that has not harnessed the power of it is the largest resource – its data. In the modern corporate ecosystem, the difference between who mines how much data might very well be the difference between which company succeeds and which fails. With increasing competition for the attention and patronage of a constant number of customers, this problem is even more compounded.

Thus we can conclude that big data analytics increases a company’s productivity and output. These changes are reflected directly in their revenues. Several studies support this claim, with researchers have found that increasing data analytics by just 10%, companies were able to raise their profits by over $2 billion a year. (Study conducted by the University of Texas, with data from Fortune 1000 companies in major industry areas)

The Way Forward

It is only inevitable that such a great innovation will have its downsides – and ethics might be the biggest downside of the big data revolution. Companies around the world have to grapple with these issues and frame stricter rules around the extent and scope of their big data and analytics. Most notably, Facebook found itself in trouble during the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Such a technology is unprecedented in human history, which means we only have ourselves to rely on while coming up with safe ethical boundaries. That being said, however, we are firmly positioned to scale the highest heights, armed with data and the power to analyse it. As long as it is done responsibly and ethically, the future belongs to those who control the data.

Building Relationships in Business to Improve Market Standing

Relationship building is an invaluable skill to have for any individual who inhabits and works within a society. When that individual is looking to start and sustain a business, however, the stakes are much higher, and relationship building takes on added importance. With increasing competition in almost all fields of business, it has become an important factor in helping a company stand out from the rest of the market. Its position in marketing and its inclusion in the marketing strategies of a company will go on to have a major impact on that company’s performance in a cut-throat competitive market.

What is Relationship Building in Business?

Many relationships are important while building a business. Relationships between an employer and their employees, relationships with other competitors as well as complementary businesses, relationships with the community, relationships with governmental authorities, all form a part of a company’s relationship marketing portfolio. The most important, of course, is the relationship between a company and its customers. Thus relationship marketing as a strategy is one that will help a company find and keep its loyal customers, and increase their symbiosis in the future. This is a necessary aspect of customer relationship marketing, commonly known in the corporate world as CRM.

What Kinds of Relationships are Beneficial in a Business?

Social support is usually the most useful kind of relationship that will help a company’s place in the market. This does not require specialised relationship building skills, as it simply means being present and actively participating in interactions with your colleagues, employees, and customers. This kind of relationship building needs to go above and beyond just the necessary communications and interactions required for the work itself. Rather, it should be taken up consciously as one of the many possible relationship building activities.

Becoming a mentor is also a great way for relationship marketing, as it is beneficial to both the teacher and the taught. The teacher gets a lot more practice, helping them become even more skilled in their subject matter. The student gets to learn not just theoretically but in the presence of someone who has the requisite experience. Many relationship building activities can also be tailored around such kinds of business relationships.

Friendly relations with customers are also an important aspect of relationship marketing and should be assigned their proper value. As one of the most important marketing strategies, it is positioning in marketing must be foremost. Happy customers are loyal customers, and loyal customers allow your company to really establish a strong foothold in the market, thus giving you a competitive edge. The better your relationships are with your customers, the less likely they are to ever move to a competitor for their business.

How Should Business Relationships Be Built?

Some of the most important decisions business relationships will be made at the very start of the relationship. The first step is to identify whom to establish a relationship with. This might be a no-brainer for customer relationships, but is often a key step and an important relationship building skill in relationships with other organizations. This decision should be made keeping in mind your needs and your compatibility with the person.

Steady and quick communication is also an important relationship building skill in sustainable business relationships. It is crucial to let your counterparts know that you are interested in whatever you have discussed, whether it is strictly work-related communication or otherwise, and the best way to do this is to be fast and effective in your communication.

Another key but often forgotten relationship building skill is to not promise more than your abilities allows you to deliver. In many situations you may be tempted to make commitments you cannot realistically keep, and failing to do so, as will inevitably happen, will erode the trust you have built so far. Trust is a critical asset in any relationship and must be protected at all costs.

Money, of course, is always a tricky factor, and relationships can be built and destroyed by how both parties involved handle conversations about money. It is important to be direct and clear, but also tactful and careful while discussing money matters. These are best discussed in person. Always express appreciation when tasks are completed well and early, as this makes your relationship agreeable to the person on the other end.

Helpful Activities

Relationship building activities are a great way to hone people’s relationship building skills. It is a good idea to build effective teams as well. At the start of a project, these relationship-building activities can come in handy.

Icebreakers are a staple in the workplace environment, and can drastically reduce the time it takes for a new team to gel together, thereby ultimately enhancing their productivity. These can also help people get to know one another, encouraging them to become friends as well as colleagues. This can also have a positive effect on the workplace environment, as people who like one another will most likely work well together, and definitely better than people who don’t. It also opens up channels of communication in a fun and relaxed environment, and these can later be utilised for the more demanding needs of the environment. It is always easier to build relationships in a friendly, tension-free atmosphere than in the stress-inducing and time-sensitive atmosphere that often accompanies the workplace environment when work on a project finally starts full swing.

Thus relationship building skills and relationship marketing must necessarily occupy an important place in any company or individual’s marketing strategies, and their positioning in marketing is determined by the needs, preferences, and available resources of the company or individual. The best companies and the best employees are often those who have a large number of mutually symbiotic relationships, both within and outside the company. This helps them become more resourceful and productive workers and ultimately helps them have a richer, more fulfilled life in the marketplace. Besides, the competitive market is a stressful place, and any interaction with people who share and understands your struggles is always a blessing. For stronger companies and better positions in the market, effective business relationship building is a must.

Artificial Intelligence Markets – The Biggest Disruptors

Artificial Intelligence is undoubtedly the most exciting trend in today’s technology, and for very good reason. Since its early days of conception, it has constantly raced ahead, leaving other technologies far behind in comparison. Questions about what is artificial intelligence and artificial intelligence future are many and keep cropping up faster than today’s innovators can answer them. One thing is, however, quite clear – the artificial intelligence future is the most likely direction of humanity’s march of progress.

What is Artificial Intelligence?

Artificial intelligence in the simplest of terms is the methodology of imparting to machines and computers cognitive traits that as of now only humans possess. For decades now scientists have been trying to make machines more and more human-like, and have already had great success. From self-driving cars to the personal assistants on our phone (Apple’s Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana, Android’s Google Assistant are the best examples), artificial intelligence has made inroads into our lives. So much so that the question of “what is artificial intelligence” could simply be answered by saying that it is merely the sum of computer functions we have not achieved yet.

The numerous connections and pathways between technology and the marketplace are well known, and any disruption in technology is bound to make its waves felt in the market. With artificial intelligence being the most disruptive technology today, it is no wonder that the artificial intelligence market is well and truly booming. As more and more innovations continue to crop up, fuelled by the passionate work of technologists around the world, the artificial intelligence marketplace gets more and more competitive, and consequently, more and more lucrative.

Changes in the Market

Artificial intelligence systems have largely changed the way humans work, act, and even think. Significantly, many major notable companies have made artificial intelligence systems a part of their hiring process. Companies like Vodafone and Unilever are using artificial intelligence to build better and stronger employee forces, and Google’s bid for artificial intelligence-driven language translation tools is widely seen as a bid to further solidify its dominance in the artificial intelligence market.

The banking sector is fully poised to make use of artificial intelligence, and the day is not far off when artificial intelligence will be making decisions about whether your loan gets approved and at what rate of interest. Already, companies like Wells Fargo have implemented artificial intelligence mechanisms into their decisions. Artificial intelligence may well play a role in predicting the fate of stock markets and could be the best advisor for investment decisions. The artificial intelligence future is sure to be a money-laden one, at least for financial firms.

The advent of a new technology always brings about unease in the existing system, and what is artificial intelligence if not the biggest new technology of our generation. It is no surprise that the fear of artificial intelligence systems replacing humans and human jobs is one that plagues many around the world. Indeed, it is not entirely without basis. Artificial intelligence has indeed taken over many jobs that previously needed human labour, such as construction roles. However, the employees who are indispensable are consequently safer as a result, and those who aren’t may not find new jobs which are more appropriate for the intellectual faculties of humans.

Artificial intelligence market competition has also encouraged many companies to step up their efforts in the field of cybersecurity, with white-hat hackers being empowered by its many advantages. Weapons used in the context of natural security may also benefit from artificial intelligence, as they could be engineered better to cause less collateral harm.

Healthcare, of course, is not going to be left behind, and this may be the most fascinating application of artificial intelligence, due to the sheer size of its impact and potential influence of human lives. What is artificial intelligence today may very well be standard procedure today in hospitals around the world? Artificial intelligence can be used in the medical field to customize personal assistants for doctors, taking some tedious parts out of their jobs. They may also be used in complex surgeries, where robots have a better chance of success than humans.

The field of education also stands to benefit a great deal from artificial intelligence, with artificial intelligence systems in combination with data analysis providing teachers and educators with the tools required to better understand their students and individual learning styles. Artificial intelligence is also extremely helpful, even life-changing, for people with disabilities, as it can provide communication devices, customized mobility devices, and adaptive technology for those whose senses or mobility might be limited. Thus they will not only succeed in making us a more technologically advanced society but also a more equitable and just one, with adequate accommodations and adaptations for those who would stand to benefit most from them.

Finally, the implications of an artificial intelligence future are felt not only in strictly business and work environments but have long ago penetrated the walls of our homes and made themselves an inextricable part of our lives. Devices like Amazon’s Alexa bring every automated comfort possible to the user, and as innovation keeps marching forwards and competition gets cheaper, it is bound to become more effective, more accessible, and more affordable. The artificial intelligence market is hence one of the fastest growing in the world, and companies, especially Apple, Google, and Microsoft, are directing remarkable proportions of their yearly budgets towards research and development of artificial intelligence systems.

The artificial intelligence future is in secure hands, and progress and innovation are bound to keep happening. With increasing urbanisation and globalisation, it is very likely that the artificial intelligence market will soon be the most important frontier that the marketplace fights its daily battles for control on. The difference between two companies may very well be who has a better understanding of what is artificial intelligence is, and who exploits that understanding better and directs it towards innovation. With its sights set firmly on the future, the modern marketplace is ready for the advent of artificial intelligence.