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Is big data a threat or opportunity in a disruptive world?

August 8, 2017

Advanced Learning

Waves of disruption are increasing and businesses are more quickly redesigning better products to meet consumers’ expectations. Big data is playing a major part in this. With established brands and companies facing growing competition, executives, innovators and entrepreneurs need to start looking at big data and the opportunities it brings for positive change.

Big data operates as a disruptive force, offering endless resources for transformation. While it renews business prospects from unexplored angles, it also poses new management challenges and ethical questions.

Though sometimes misunderstood, the concept of disruptive innovation applies to products and services that create new value and new networks, changing the way the game is played and displacing established players. This mostly happens by developing business models with structural cost advantages. Uber, Netflix and Google are doing this, delivering cheaper and more accessible products to customers.

In his book “The Innovator’s Dilemma”, Clayton M. Christensen, an authority in the field, identifies four stages of disruptive innovations that are creating disorder in current marketplaces. In the first phase, comes performance: when a new technology arrives, the first thing that people notice is its features. Then comes reliability, when people look for stability in the product, followed by convenience, which means that the product should be easily accessible on mobile devices. In the last stage, what matters is how much it costs: when the market players have equal opportunity, they start competing on price, which will be the key differentiator.

Big data may still be in the early stages of its disruptive lifecycle, says Ravindra Savaram. Leading companies worldwide have acknowledged the need to act and think in different ways, to become more agile and face growing competition from both within and outside their own industries. Used properly, big data can be one of the most powerful enablers in this process.

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