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Big Data: Is it Really That Big & Is it Getting Bigger?

By  Erik Raper Erik Raper  on 2013-07-26 06:59:40  |  Featured in  Communications
Erik Raper
Posted By Erik Raper
in Communications
on 2013-07-26 06:59:40

Knowledge is power, as the saying goes, and big data has the potential to unlock all kinds of powerful knowledge that corporations can use to better serve their current customers, boost their brand image, attract new clients, streamline their processes, cut inefficiencies and become more profitable and successful in the future. Big data analytics have become a hot topic of conversation and research in the businesses community, not only as a source of knowledge, but also as a tool for measuring success and making smarter businesses decisions as a result. Digital data is produced in huge quantities every day, and smart businesses are harnessing these huge stores of data to better understand their positions in the market, see their strengths and weaknesses and adjust their processes accordingly. So just how big is big data? Is it getting bigger? And what does this mean for businesses?

The Big Picture of the Data Deluge for Modern Business

There is no denying the fact that organizations and corporations collect huge stores of data in the 21st century. Even medium-sized businesses basically collect as much digital data in a day as was transmitted across the entire Internet in a day 20 years ago. Really, that figure isn’t too far off. Last year, approximately 2.5 exabytes of digital data were created each day. The amount of data that was stored throughout the Internet two decades ago is equivalent to the amount of data that crosses the World Wide Web each second today. And yes, it is getting bigger. Experts estimate that the amount of digital data being created on a daily basis is doubling in size about every three years and four months.

Examples from the Retail Business World

There are many examples of how big businesses are using even bigger data to move their enterprises forward. Take Walmart, for example. This retail giant is currently collecting more than 2.5 petabytes of data per hour from its customer transactions around the world – it would take tens of millions of filing cabinets to store the text data that they gather in one hour. Needless to say, successful retailers like this are making the most of the data they are raking in every day. Online versions of longstanding retailers are also following this lead and taking advantage of new information that wasn’t available when they only did business in stores, such as how long customers are spending on the site, whether they’re looking at ads, how they respond to recommended products and promotions and other behaviors. There are big stores of data like this for every industry – warehouses of information that are waiting to be categorized, analyzed and put to good use for better decision-making in the future.

What This Means for Businesses and Organizations Everywhere

Gaining business advantages out of the great volumes of data that are being captured and stored every day should be a top priority for large and growing businesses and organizations across multiple industries. For many businesses, having access to large stores of data presents many problems, because they don’t know where to start or don’t have the internal resources to categorize, analyze and manage it effectively. This is where big data consultings come into play. A big data consulting firm can help an organization harness the deluge of data at its fingertips quickly and effectively in order to take advantage of the powerful knowledge it holds. Not all businesses have the same needs in terms of optimizing their data management systems, and a good consultant will understand that, and design a data capture and analytics system that works for the unique goals and needs of the organization and its industry.


Erik Raper

Erik Raper

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Erik Raper heads Paragon’s Marketing and Advisory Services teams across focused industries. In this role, Mr. Raper leads his team to bring deep industry experience, rigorous analytical capabilities and a pragmatic mindset to clients’ most complex business problems. Mr. Raper’s team of marketing and strategy professionals work with Paragon’s Industry Leaders in the development of key go-to-market solutions which align to Paragon strengths and are essential to achieving clients’ business imperatives.

Before being appointed to his current position, Mr. Raper has served several key roles at Paragon including Director of Strategic Solutions Sales, Vice President of Strategy, and leader of Advisory Services. Mr. Raper guided the development of a suite of straight-through-processing (STP) solutions that focused on delivering business value–expanding Paragon’s Fortune 500 clientele and establishing the foundation for the firm’s brand platform: "Improving the Way Work Gets Done."

Prior to his appointment at Paragon in 2004, Mr. Raper spent seven years with Prudential Financial. As a vice president, he was instrumental in leading Prudential through a major operations and technology re-engineering in support of the company’s initial public offering. Preceding his employment with Prudential, he spent seven years with AT&T in various Marketing and Strategic Planning positions.

Mr. Raper holds a B.A. in Marketing from Columbus University, Metairie, Louisiana.

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