Even though it may already seem like you're barraged with ads and emails in the shape of your digital footprint, companies are still using only a fraction of the information they could be
— just 0.5 percent, in fact, according to big data author and consultant Bernard Marr.
So what's the best way to tap that remaining 99.5 percent to drive your business objectives? Leverage big data and artificial intelligence (AI). A 2017 survey of Fortune 1000 leaders by NewVantage Partners found that 48.4 percent of them are "achieving measurable results from their big data investments."
How can you do the same? Let's count the many ways:
- Know and serve your customers. Listen via all channels (digital and physical) and then streamline communications and develop products and services that respond to their nuances.
- Bring new products and services to market. Big data and AI can help you innovate more effectively, enabling you to discover needs you didn't even know your market had and then invent technologies, products or services that meet those needs exactly.
- Manage financial systems and regulatory compliance. From cybersecurity to reporting, you can now integrate new factors, such as energy and environmental ones, for more accurate and useful systems and reports — and then develop ethical standards to manage them.
- Market more efficiently and effectively. Big data and AI take market research to an entirely new level. With nuanced knowledge about your customers, you can find more of them, develop targeted advertising and increase engagement with creative information vehicles like infographics.
- Refine pricing. This convergence will enable you to target pricing to market segments based on the nuances and location of that segment.
- Manage resources. From human capital to energy consumption and supply chains, big data and AI can improve resource management in myriad ways. They could, for example, illuminate potential opportunities and risks, reduce maintenance costs or reveal labor issues.
- Increase security. Big data and AI can help manage some of the numerous security issues businesses face today. Not only does that include keeping the data itself secure, but also minimizing operational and financial risks.
- Improve corporate citizenship. Instagram recently launched new AI-developed tools to flag or block offensive, bullying, hateful or terrorism-related comments on posts and live video. These types of tools can help brands combat undesirable content. However, the technology has not yet been perfected. While Richard Allen, Facebook's vice president of public policy for Europe, the Middle East and Africa acknowledged in Fortune: "[We are] a long way from being able to rely on machine learning and AI to handle the complexity involved in assessing hate speech."
- Track healthcare costs and potential hazards. The convergence of big data with AI is revolutionizing healthcare in unlimited ways, from providing home care to leveraging genomics to diagnose and treat conditions.
- Add new revenue streams. Using AI to manage big data can keep your organization's eyes open to new opportunities. Remember to always question your assumptions about your business.
A specific yet evolving business strategy is crucial for leveraging big data and artificial intelligence effectively. As NewVantage Partners' CEO Randy Bean writes in the Harvard Business Review, "Companies that fail to adapt do so at their own competitive and market risk."
Download our .futurology report to find out more on how Big Data offers a unique opportunity to radically change the way we do things.