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Companies tapping big data to make better decisions

Rachel Wheeler Archive
Big data is making a big impression in a number of industries. Investment bankers, healthcare providers, insurers, marketing professionals and government agencies are all looking to this information for better decision-making solutions, according to CMS Wire.

While some officials still have trouble explaining exactly what big data is, they anticipate that effectively using it can help them gain a competitive advantage. Rather than relying on individuals' gut instincts when it comes to investments, companies can analyze existing data volumes for fact-based conclusions.

A recent study by MIT Sloan Management professor Erik Brynjolfsson verifies that companies do in fact perform better when they use big data.

"Companies that use this type of 'data-driven decision making' actually show higher performance," Brynjolfsson wrote in an article for MIT Sloan Experts. "Working with Lorin Hitt and Heekyung Kim, I analyzed 179 large publicly traded firms and found that the ones that adopted this method are about 5 percent more productive and profitable than their competitors."

Before businesses put all of their money into big data strategies, they should develop a plan that addresses specific needs and data quality measures. This can help them avoid issues down the road and realize a better return on their investments.