In 2016, KPMG reported that many organisations were struggling to keep pace with changing customer behaviour, globalization, regulatory policies and disruptive technologies. The report further noted that senior executives across the globe did not consider their organisations capable of responding effectively and driving the transformational changes. However, with time, big data is going to be the main point of focus for business organisations and will no longer be optional as businesses seek to maximize on efficiency and profits. The increased use of social media is a game changer because big data can effectively harness social media data for business purposes. In fact, David Geer has stated that big data and social media are a match made in heaven for business organisations.
As the name suggests, big data is simply massive volumes of data. it requires new methods of interaction right from collection and storage to analysis. In essence, the main characteristics of big data are: firstly, it involves the collection of huge volumes of data; secondly, it comes in varieties and may be structured or unstructured. Finally, it involves high velocity data which can come in both archived form and in real-time.
Benefits of social media for business
Although big data comes from a variety of sources, most of it is in the unstructured form. Undoubtedly, social media is by far the greatest source of unstructured big data. any interested person can collect and analyze likes, tweets, comments, views, favourites and any other thing that is usually done on social media.
We are living in a digital age where social media is proving to be indispensable as businesses seek to maintain a presence on such platforms as Facebook and Twitter in order to interact with clients at a personal level which helps the business across multiple fronts. The significance of social media as a medium of interacting with clients is demonstrated by the fact that Facebook alone attracts 2 billion users every month, a figure that is about 26% of the world’s population.
Social media is making it possible for companies in the insurance and financial services space to obtain information relating to their prospective clients. The client may have all the requisite documents to warrant being considered for credit or insurance cover but their social lifestyle demonstrated by their social media posts portrays the client as high risk. To insure a client whose social media posts show them always drinking or taking junk and never at a gym would be quite risky.
At the moment, big data and artificial intelligence are still evolving and the fact that organisations have already found ways of interacting with data from social media is nothing but the beginning. With time, they will be able to analyze data from hundreds of thousands of users and launch highly targeted campaigns.