The Death of Business Intelligence

Big Data: Not the creepy entity after all

Posted in Business, Business Intelligence by neilwilson1984 on February 4, 2014

Big Data is a concept that has become more prevalent in recent years, as it has moved more and more into mainstream businesses and their decision-making for targeting customers and analysing sales and buying patterns.

However, the sheer magnitude of what is being analysed by firms has left the sector in a weird position. Many people see BI as being something of a creepy entity – a Big Brother style spying tool that companies use in order to ascertain what we buy and when.

But is it really as weird as it is made out to be? According to one expert, it is not the case. Big Data is essential to the strategies of companies now, allowing them to analyse more information than humans ever could through IT strategies to help them target ads and sales at certain groups of people.

Paddy Nixon, vice chancellor (research) at the University of Tasmania, said it is about even more than this though. He said that there are a number of different factors that show Big Data has big implications – driving economic, social and environmental sustainability.


Mr Nixon said that Big Data allows for a more sustainable level of development in regards to businesses, as it allows the studying of the relationships between different groups. By looking at the different interactions between customers, companies, economies and the government.

He said it allows for companies to look at unknown patterns in the relationship between them and their customers, making for a more targeted and sustained growth of their business model than would have been possible by old strategies, under which they would not have been able to see certain trends and patterns.

How to make Big Data less creepy

One of the biggest factors that makes Big Data seem creepy, according to Mr Nixon, is the fact that people are not able to see how their data is used. All they know is that things they do are being analysed, but not how, why or even if their information is being kept and stored.

This is one thing that they can look at if they are trying to make their operation less creepy. Simply offering a little bit more transparency can let customers feel a little more at ease with regards to how their information is being used by companies.

Another strategy is to look at the way consent is achieved. In many cases, customers will be looking at a situation where they are simply giving consent by buying from a certain business, but this should be eradicated if professionals want Big Data to look less creepy.

It doesn’t take much to allow customers to give consent to having their data used, and it can make a big difference in trust.


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