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Big data tools used to improve customer service, marketing initiatives

The proliferation of digital technologies in the consumer and business worlds has given decision-makers a chance to improve customer service on a number of levels, especially if companies use tools to improve data quality. A recent study of more than 280 IT executives by Microsoft highlighted how more than three-quarters of respondents are implementing information-related solutions within the next year.

While there are many reasons to address big data, the need use specific tools derives from the complexity associated with the large volumes of digital resources.

"Big data can be large tables of structured data, huge files of complex unstructured data, or small amounts of machine-generated data that pile up faster than you can make sense of it," said Eron Kelly, an executive at Microsoft.

The study found that while many firms are adopting the cloud in their IT departments, others are doing so within finance, customer service and marketing teams as well.

IDC highlighted the growing big data technology market, noting it is forecast to expand at a compound annual growth rate of more than 31 percent between 2012 and 2016. This increase will be driven by the ongoing need to keep customers happy and internal operations efficient.