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5 Ways Big Data Benefits Consumers

By Larry Alton June 26, 2015

 When many people think of big data, they think of the way the government and retailers gather consumer information for marketing and national security reasons. It often seems like big data does nothing to benefit consumers directly. However, that’s not true. Big data offers a world of benefits for the consumer’s direct use and enjoyment - as well as for commercial use.

 Big data is an extremely complex concept that would take a lifetime to define. There is simply too much information to create a compact, one-size-fits-all definition for the massive amounts of intelligence that rolls in from customer profiles, buying habits, browsing history, social media interactions, photos, videos, and much more.

 However, despite its magnitude, expert technicians have been able to discern several significant benefits that help consumers directly, including the following.

 1. Improved Customer Experience

 The customer experience is the biggest reason people do business with certain companies, whether or not they recognize it. In fact, nearly 80 percent of consumers have bailed on a transaction because of one poor service experience. In most markets, you can get the same product at a variety of stores, so it’s excellent customer service that sets great stores apart from average ones.

 Big data makes great customer service possible. Thanks to the ability to collect customer feedback through online reviews, social media, and other brand mentions on the internet, companies are able to take the feedback customers leave and put it into improving the overall experience.

 2. Better Products for Your Enjoyment

 Companies can also use the onslaught of data to improve products. As they learn how you’re using their products, in what context you’re using them, who you’re using them with, and how you rate their products, companies can take that information and turn it into Product 2.0.

 Big data is the reason that every year or two Apple comes out with a brand new version of their iPhone. Or the reason that our computers and laptops get slimmer and smarter with every version. The internet hears what customers are lacking from their products, and it translates the information to businesses, who make great product changes happen.

 3. Coupons Made for You

 Have you ever gotten an email coupon or noticed a discount on an advertisement for that one thing you’ve been researching and saving for over the last few months? It’s not just good luck – its data. Big data connects you with the companies you want to do business with and the deals you want to use.

 For example, say you’ve been researching the perfect night out with your spouse. You’ve been exploring movie times and other entertainment venues, but you’ve spent the most time on finding the perfect restaurant in your area. Then, as luck would have it, you notice a bright box in the corner of the screen advertising coupons for local restaurants. That’s how big data works. It recognizes what you’re looking for and delivers it on a silver platter.

4. Protection for Your Private Information

Security measures are improving all the time, and that’s because big data is there to prevent hacking almost as soon as it starts. In most cases, your service providers will be able to detect fraudulent activity and alert you of the issue within seconds. These significant advancements are a major reason that today, 88 percent of Americans will trust online retailers with their personal information.

5. Reduced Crime and Saved Lives

Approximately 75 percent of government IT professionals believe that big data is integral in preventing and managing crime today. It’s the reason that many police departments are now either developing or using predictive models to recognize where, when, and how crimes will occur.

 Furthermore, it also plays a major role in medical research. Thanks to collective data, health care professionals can use the information to discover patterns and links in patient care and behavior, which are integral in diagnosing and treating patients. It provides an enhanced quality of care for all medical patients. When it comes down to it, big data saves lives!

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

Contributing Writer

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