Even as most businesses around the world are grappling with shrinking markets, dipping sales and sombre growth forecasts, business leaders are seemingly putting greater faith in Big Data Analytics to identify future market behavior and consumer preferences.
The Big Data focus is greatly aiding sales forecasting, resulting in significant business prospects for firms that offer Big Data solutions. Insidesales.com raising $4 million from Hummer Winblad in Series A funding is indicative of this. Inside sales, which serves mainly small and medium businesses, will use the funding to expand its big data analytics sales force automation (SFO) technology. Current trends suggest that many more firms will make an aggressive bid to wrest a sizable share of the Big Data market.
Enterprises looking to boost their sales in tight market conditions have taken cognizance of the need to capture unstructured or semi structured information from social media and web-logs to gain insights on matters like why a sales campaign delivered in particular markets, and then use that information to support future decision making.
Reports say that some retailers would even want to mine data from their security cameras and motion sensors to figure out why customers go to particular shelves while others become dead zones. A McKinsey report released in 2011 has suggested that retailers could boost operating margins by 60% by fully exploiting big data.
This is reaffirmed in another report entitled 'Why Big Data Should be a Big Deal for Sales' -- developed by independent research firm CSO Insights on behalf of Lattice Engines – which says that 71% of companies employing Big Data analytics expected to see significant boost in their sales. Yet, only 16% of those companies had Big Data strategies in place, which implies that the market for Big Data analytical tools, especially for sales forecasting, is at an early stage and could soon be growing at an accelerated pace.
On a larger plane, Big Data is already seen as a growth enabler in difficult economic conditions. Big Data was a featured topic at the World Economic Forum in Davos this year. Also, Gartner Research included Big Data among its top 10 strategic technologies for 2012.
Big Data has the potential to deliver quantum business benefits in a sustained manner. Enterprises that are quick off the blocks in using Big Data analytics will ride out difficult market conditions and make big gains when boom time arrives.