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Big data, big data, and big data. With the birth of the internet age, our world has inevitably produced massive quantities of data. Application is limitless as such data yields crucial information about human trends and preferences, clearly illustrating where our society is heading towards. “Without big data, you are blind and deaf in the middle of a freeway” mentions Geoffrey Moore, emphasizing the importance of big data today.
Yet, I was skeptical. In my point of view, big data analytics and statistics were mere tools of general trends, providing only macroeconomic information that is impractical for actual utilization. The only way to tackle this doubt was to put it into actual use.
“You have 3 weeks to thoroughly develop your business plan for the upcoming business fair” announced our business and management advisor. This was it. Although risky, it was an ideal opportunity to test whether big data is useful for successfully predicting customers’ choice and taste. As the executive manager of my team, I announced that all of our decisions would not be based on our own preference or instinctive judgment but on logical data trends. Although it started off as a challenge, the more I learned about the complex data systems and their use in actual businesses, I eventually found myself teaching this concept to my classmates, advocating its practicality. My limited access to relevant big data was a serious restriction, disabling detailed analysis of food preference trends. Hence my team came up with a solution: creating our own data. Creating both web and paper surveys, we were able to gather data from over 220 students and staff within our community, obtaining specific information about our target customers.
Product choices, logo design, marketing strategies, and promotional tactics were all based on the data that we received, strictly following what I decided to test. Major objections among team members occurred, but the choices were solely based on valid data that reflects the choice of our customers; thus compromise was easily established. Top-seller of the 2015 CIS business fair, data analytics proved its point. I was wrong, yet I learned something meaningful. Along the way I have not only gained interest but a passion to study information systems and its application in business. Our near future holds mass personalized services – healthcare, leisure, and education – and products, and I am ready to join this future.
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