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It’s just an opinion – but big data analysis is key to accurate results.

11th May 2015 · Our Thoughts

Big Data Analysis will be invaluable to ensure accurate polling resul;ts

So, after a hard fought campaign the race for Number 10 reached its conclusion, yet it wasn’t the conclusion the opinion polls had pointed us to. Those polls had been analysing the data of voters’ intentions and pointing to the certainty of another hung parliament and a new phase of coalition politics, however, in the end it was a fairly comfortable one party majority victory. This is a good example of how inaccurate data analysis can lead to the wrong insights, especially in business.

While it will be some time before the independent inquiry into how the opinion polls got the result of the 2015 General Election so wrong, in business speed is of the essence. So what can cause problems with data analysis? One historical problem with all data analysis has been choosing the size of the sample – if you’re capturing only a small snapshot it can lead you to inaccurate conclusions. A business might take a random survey of its customer base, analyse it and act on the information gathered. In times gone by this was the only feasible option due to the logistics of contacting a broad range of people via telephone or through the post and then picking through the answers. Large surveys took a lot of time and money.

The digital world has changed all that. The vast majority of us now voluntarily hand over information to companies, often without consideration on how it might be used. Cookies on websites, contact forms for downloads and our engagement with social media means that everything from our personal interests and internet browsing habits to our employment history can provide an alarmingly accurate profile of us. So, from a business perspective what does this mean?

To use Big Data properly you need a reliable and secure cloud-based data storage platform. Without this you are significantly hindering your efforts. A cloud-based platform allows you to continually collect data without worrying about the storage space. The scalability of cloud-based solutions means that you only pay for the resources you need. You should also consider the security of the data you are collecting. Does your cloud storage solutions provider work to the most up-to-date security protocols and ISO accreditations? If the answer is yes then you can rest assured that the data is in the most secure and reliable place it can be.

Once you have this you can start the data mining process. There is a multitude of ways that you can gain the business insights you need to track customer engagement with your products and uncover those hidden opportunities you’ve been missing to power your business growth. Storage giant EMC for instance has developed a range of storage platforms to power all types of data analysis. It has just updated its VMAX3™ platform to deliver new levels of automation, modernisation and consolidation to enterprise business.

As we enter the world of IoT, Big Data insights will be invaluable. Think about being able to ask your entire customer base tailored questions to help you improve your services. Think of how quickly this will enable your business to keep up with an ever-changing market place. While the UK election pollsters will be scratching their heads for some time, business predictions can be made quickly and accurately with the right approach to data analysis. Insight into how consumers behave is data gold providing you have the right tools to make the correct judgement calls.

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