man on a laptop analysing big data for innovation

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3 reasons why innovation managers should be looking to big data

June 24, 2019

Innovation Factory

By the end of 2020, the volume of big data will reach 44 trillion gigabytes, with the potential to change the business world exponentially. That’s an incredible amount of information. To compete in the digital age, organisations must harness the data they have available to them and use it to discover hidden insights, new opportunities for growth and ultimately drive innovation.

Every purchase, website visit or smartphone interaction a consumer makes leaves its own imprint. Analysing all this data, from various sources and at incredible speeds, enables businesses to benefit from more strategic decisions, more efficient operations, more productivity, faster product development, higher profits and increased customer satisfaction.

This digital technology holds huge potential for increasing business value – 85% of enterprises say that big data is important, very important or critical to their organisation. While the same report found that big data adoption soared from 17% to 59% in three years, with telecommunications, advertising and insurance industries leading the way, there is still a long way to go.

So why should innovation leaders look to big data to help drive success within their organisations?

  1. New products and services

Innovation leaders can no longer rely solely on their observations and intuition. To develop ideas for products or services that will be successful, managers must gather and analyse their data and convert it into actionable innovation, using the right analytic techniques. Harnessing their organisation’s data will help them answer:

  • Who their customers are and what they want.
  • How to improve their product or service.
  • What gaps or opportunities exist in the market.

While historical data is important, foresight is also a vital tool in driving innovation in the 21st century. When it comes to product innovation, predictive analytics enable innovation managers to anticipate trends, customer demand and behaviour, helping to avoid risk and delivering long-term value.

  1. Improved operations

Innovation management isn’t only about coming up with new out-of-the-box ideas. It also involves using big data to identify any pain points within your organisation so that any errors can be rectified. As part of an innovation strategy, analytics can help find and resolve any bottlenecks, cut down waste and streamline processes without any major revolutionary ideas. Small innovations can lead to big improvements in your internal operations, without much effort, making them more efficient and generating more revenue gains.

  1. Greater competitive edge

A survey conducted by Bain & Company found that organisations that use big data in their operations and functions were much ahead of their competitors. With real-time data, businesses are more agile in grabbing opportunities as soon as they come their way and allow them to pivot quickly, guiding short-term strategy as well as long-term.

A big-data approach also improves decision-making: decisions backed by data are more informed and more objective, providing balance in many situations.

Those businesses able to apply high-quality data can kick-start Artificial Intelligence and machine learning strategies, promoting automation, cost reduction and smart decision-making and placing them well ahead of the competition.

Of course, with all their data and complex analytic tools, global brands are able to stay ahead of smaller competitors. But organisations of every size can explore data as a new source of growth and innovation, by incorporating accessible data-gathering techniques to gain actionable results.

Whether you are just starting to explore the potential of big data analytics or have already incorporated it into your innovation strategy, these events offer the latest developments in the world of big data.

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