Data isn’t just endless numbers on a screen or page. It’s a story. It’s a map to solving your business’ problems.
With more access to data any time in history, the opportunities and possibilities are limitless. Big data lets you be creative to test your hypothesis or cognitive data can give you the ingredients to create a dish you never even considered.
Big data is a big pill to swallow and rather intimidating and that’s why many companies fail to use it to its full potential. But done right, data isn’t just fancy algorithms or buzzwords; it can solve real world problems.
Consider the aviation industry in particular.
It’s a gigantic industry encompassing everything from the bolts of commercial and industrial airplane manufacturing to the marketing of airlines and fliers.
Big data helps all of that by aggregating records from everywhere, and with big enough data, patterns start to form, making anomalies stick out like a sore thumb. Consider this example: UPS saved millions of dollars in maintenance costs by tracking hundreds of trucks to collect data. Instead of repairing parts when necessary and slowing down production and deliveries, they used algorithms to analyze the data captured to predict when a part was likely to break down. Now imagine replacing an airplane with a truck. Now imagine the savings. Using predictive analytics to be proactive, rather than responsive, helps both cut costs and increase operational effectiveness.
While many consider data to be a purely analytical tool, it can also be smart marketing. The NBA launched an effort in which they opened up their statistical database and corresponding video library to fans for free, improving communication with their audience and creating transparency as a company. This is a tool airlines and their connecting industries should consider. At least, data, if presented right, can provide interesting and gawk-worthy information to garner audience attention.So far data seems like a godsend. But there’s much that can go wrong. One of the main tips to practice and remember is, as Forbes puts it, “Every good project starts with a problem, not a solution.” Don’t just have a big data plan. In order to be effective, first you must identify the problem. Then bring your qualitative thinking to the quantitative data.
Today, we have data falling into our laps from everywhere – mobile devices, artificial intelligence, social media, Web analytics, new technologies, in addition to traditional data stores, transaction records and financial data. This data could be a lump of overwhelming numbers or it can be an opportunity to improve everything from customer service to manufacturing and product development to keeping up to date on travel and airport regulation.
It’s all how you use it.
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