Is Data the New Competitive Advantage?

There are some staggering statistics out there when we talk about digital data...

Did you know the total amount of data doubles every year? Did you know 90% of all digital data was created within the past 2 years? On YouTube, 100 hours of videos is being uploaded every second of every day.

Data is growing exponentially and businesses are discovering the possibilities of bringing together large pools of data to be more efficiently analyzed so we can make better decisions and choices. This will become a significant basis of competitive advantage and growth for firms. Businesses will need to optimally mine the intelligence contained in their enormous data repositories to stay ahead of the curve.
Big data has been instrumental in helping such industries as Healthcare. Doctors and others in this field can understand and analyze trends to better battle against disease, injuries, and more. Huge sweeping changes and advances are coming in Healthcare because of the access to this type of information.

Other industries are using Big Data to gather information like buying habits so they know how, what, and when consumers will buy. Companies are able to utilize the results to better target you and increase their sales and streamline your buying experience.

In the past, the ways in which we researched information have been limited. With the explosion of available information, this has changed. Technology is allowing us to gather and process information in ways that the results offer great benefit. Companies that effectively analyze data make informed decisions, and many are able to use live data as it changes and evolves to make real time decisions.

Ironically what we call Big Data today is going to look puny in a few years from now because the amount of data is growing exponentially. Plus, new sources of data to analyze are constantly coming on-line, making the explosive growth in digital data even that much more pronounced. Plus it’s happening in places and ways that we never considered traditionally.

Take one example. The government and some large corporations are in the process of installing censors into our infrastructure (roads, bridges, tunnels, etc.) to gather large chunks of data that has never been processed or analyzed before. Things like traffic patterns, road conditions, weather impact will generate intelligence we never looked at before. This will lead to things like machines that make repairs without any human intervention based on the data, intelligent roads that adapt to traffic and weather conditions, and ultimately smart cars that drive themselves.

Going forward, the type, quality, and relevance of the data will become far more important than the quantity of data, so being very good at managing these factors will create new ways to differentiate as well as find innovative approaches to creating and maintaining a competitive advantage.