Big data and automation are often interconnected and interdependent on each other. Automation as a concept is nothing new, with its early roots reaching as far back as the First Industrial Revolution. Big data, however, is a relatively more recent development. Statistical techniques to manage and analyze data called data science have existed for some time. But acquiring meaningful volumes of data was historically a problem until easy internet access arrived in the form of residential services like Spectrum deals.
Once this data became accessible, data science grew, becoming more sophisticated, precise, and reliable. Both data science and automation have been making their way into workplaces for some time now. But in 2021, a year after the COVID-19 pandemic first emerged, both are very invaluable for most businesses dealing with massive disruption. This blog explores how.
Automation and Big Data in The Pandemic
The coronavirus pandemic has been a disruption on a scale never seen before. Our world has dealt with disease outbreaks before, many of which were horrifically lethal. The most recent was the Spanish Flu in 1920, almost exactly 100 years before the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020. But the world has changed exponentially since the 20th Century, with the most impactful developments taking place in the last two or three decades alone. Thanks to greater ease of movement, easier international travel, a booming Travel and Hospitality industry, international commerce, and much more, the virus had far more vectors to spread than at any previous point in history.
Other than the obviously tragic human toll, the pandemic devastated economies, industries, and businesses. However, a year later, many of these are bouncing back, with streamlined processes, recalibrated goals, and improved productivity. How is this possible only one year after the worst global crisis in recorded history since WWII? The answer may lie in the use of big data and automation, particularly in the following cases:
Cost Reduction with Automated Processes
One of the biggest factors that attract businesses to automation is the significant reduction in operational costs it offers. In most cases, the automation process is a one-time development expenditure, accompanied by periodic maintenance. Compared to that, the cost of maintaining resources such as hardware, equipment, software, and workers can be much higher. Automated processes also prove to be far less prone to making mistakes, costly errors, or general laziness. The increased accuracy guarantees increased cost efficiency as well, as far as the process being automated is concerned.
Better Data Access and Management with Big Data
Data is perhaps the most valuable asset a modern business can own, and that hasn’t changed during the pandemic. But data on its own can often be too raw and cumbersome to be of any meaningful use. Especially for large enterprises, the large volumes of data generated every single day can be impossible to manually sort through on an excel sheet like a small business would try. In other words, it is not enough to accumulate data. Businesses also need to manage it in such a way that the relevant data is always accessible to the right person at the right time. This is where Big Data management can help businesses warehouse their data in a more structured way and put it to use for the best results.
Identify and Leverage New Trends Using Big Data
Of course, we have all heard about successful businesses identifying trends early on. We also know businesses stay relevant by adapting to customer needs and behavior. Both of these things, believe it or not, are not based on a simple business hunch or a half-baked brainstorming session. Big Data techniques allow businesses to sort through tons of data to analyze emerging trends, and can even extrapolate from them to predict future changes. If you’re not just able to see changing customer behavior, but also predict it, you are several steps ahead of the competition.
Big Data Automation in Digital Targeted Advertising
Online buying has increased significantly during the pandemic. People have mostly limited their interactions to only the most essential ones. This means they are now more reliant than ever on e-commerce and logistics to get everything they need right at their door as safely as possible. However, this may also be an opportunity for your business to start targeting these people more efficiently. Both big data and automation can come together when you automate your targeted advertising campaigns. Using the data parameters you select, you should be able to run automated campaigns with very little oversight required from you beyond planning the campaign.
Big data and automation are proving to be unexpected and timely lifelines for many businesses during these turbulent times. With so much uncertainty and disruption, businesses need to hold on to any advantage they have in terms of increasing productivity, reducing costs, and becoming more efficient. Both long-term and short-term survival may depend heavily on incorporating automation and data science into the workplace.