Digital Transformation: What does Big Data mean for Business?

Big Data refers to the huge amount of information available that can be analyzed by computers in order to identify patterns and get meaning that might be too complex for traditional methods. In this article, you’ll learn what this means for businesses and how Big Data is already transforming different industries.

Digital Transformation: What does Big Data mean for Business?

Learning Objectives:

  • Define what Big Data is
  • Identify how Big Data is being used today
  • List the Pros and Cons of Big Data


To put it simply, Big Data is using computers to analyze information, in order to identify patterns and get meaning that might be too complex for traditional methods. Big data analysis is most useful when the data is extremely variable, large, or is being collected at a rapid pace.

Although estimates of the quantity of data in the world today vary, there is no doubt that it is increasing at an astronomical rate. So, what does Big Data mean for business?

Many businesses have begun to realize that information could be their greatest asset. with that in mind, businesses work to gather the most accurate and complete information, and then use that information to try and accurately predict future behavior. In short, those organizations believe that the most accurate, relevant information will help them become business leaders.

Incorporating more information into a business allows what is happening in any one division, such as sales, to be communicated and used in all other parts of the business. This information is especially effective if it can be gathered and communicated in real-time.

Increasingly, businesses are also incorporating more information about the world that is external to the business. This use of Big Data has the potential to transform everything from geology to medicine. For example, earlier and more accurate earthquake and hurricane prediction may be possible using increased information analysis by sensors. Analysis of patterns in crime could improve coverage by law enforcement. In medicine, analyzing patterns of how people use emergency facilities has allowed medical personnel to intervene in less expensive, proactive ways before the next emergency. Many Human Resources departments now use Big Data analysis to mine social network information in an effort to help predict prospective employee performance or understand which incentive programs will be most successful. Big data analysis of purchasing behaviors also allows organizations to provide recommendations and create a more personalized customer experience.

As the world has become more strongly linked, issues of privacy have arisen as well, and privacy will become an even larger issue in the future.

In summary, Big Data paves way for more predictable events and behaviors. While there are both pros and cons that come from the amount of data available, it’s clear that organizations that can leverage this information will have a huge advantage over those that can’t.