Big Data 101  

By Katie Foley 

One of the buzzwords of the last few years, big data has caused a storm throughout different industries and sectors. As businesses continue to invest heavily in digital transformation and bolstering their technological capabilities, big data remains at the heart of any future business strategy. And while you might read about it all the time, you might find yourself wondering, what is big data?

So, What Is It?

Big data has a lot of different definitions, mainly because industries keep tweaking its definition to suit their own business needs. At its core, big data can be defined as: 

Big data is a collection of data from traditional and digital sources inside and outside your company that represents a source for ongoing discovery and analysis.

If you examine this on a granular level, you will see that big data is all of the information you can gather that helps make your business stronger. These data sources become the foundation of your strategy, and they give you insight into a company's performance, growth, and future potential. As this data continues to grow, the insights get better, and big data has the potential to give businesses a newfound level of accuracy in understanding how to operate better, faster, and attract more customers.

How Do I Collect Big Data?

The next logical question tends to center around how to acquire big data. There are actually many different sources for businesses to collect this, but it is important that whatever methods you choose, the data is accurate.

Some sources include: 

  • Web traffic and behavior
  • Accounting data such as accounts payable and accounts receivable
  • Marketing data such as email traffic
  • Inventory and order statuses
  • Production metrics
  • Machine down time 
  • Supply chain 
  • Social media content 
  • Mobile data 

So where do Big Data and ERP come together? The manufacturing industry takes in more new data than most other sectors so as an ERP company that serves the manufacturing industry, it's important that we make sense of Big Data. ERP solutions can help users across an organization share data as it's happening. Ultimately, users can use Big Data to gain a deeper understanding of everyday processes with the end goal of improving efficiency and production. 
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Topics: Technology

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