4 Key Hurdles Associated with Big Data and How to Overcome Them Using CRM

4 Key Hurdles Associated with Big Data and How to Overcome Them Using CRM
The new buzz word today for all companies is ‘big data’. Everyone wants to be a part of the latest revolution that is integrating, analyzing and managing large volumes of data. Data in itself is simply hoards of useless information, but, when deciphered and analyzed, it could help understand important strategic pointers such as customer trends and market preferences. These are two weapons that every marketing executive wishes to possess so that their next best action can be accurately determined. However, integrating online search data alone is a huge and voluminous task, unless integrated smartly and efficiently. Many company head honchos are apprehensive about integrating large volumes of data, not just because this is an uncharted territory, but, because there are considerable risks and problems involved with big data.

Hurdles encountered while using Big Data
Rephrasing the advice Spiderman was given - "With 'big data' come 'big responsibilities'"! While large volumes of data may be seen as a gold mine, there are always risks involved with it. These risks include confidential information being accessed or exposed and transfer of data outside the required area or departments.

According to a survey by Voltage Security, three in four respondents said that the risks and security issues involved with big data was a cause for worry for them. Furthermore, more than half of them also said that it was these associated risks that were preventing them from tapping into the potential of big data. Despite the best intentions of companies and their employees, there is always the risk of data and sensitive information falling into the wrong hands. This could lead to the data being abused and misused by certain unscrupulous employees or outsiders. This is because data that is collected can usually be freely accessed by company analysts and external contractors too. Anyone wishing to harm the interests of the company could use this data to extract information about customers; and then there’s no saying what kind of financial or reputation related harm could be done with the information obtained.

1. Lack of proper approach: Unfortunately, many companies tend to view big data as a burden rather than a source of highly profitable information. The main reason for this assumption is that they feel there is no comprehensive approach for centralizing the hoards of data accumulated. This fact was further proven by a survey taken by LogLogic, which showed that nearly 60% of the over two hundred security officers that were interviewed, stated that they were using fragmented systems for gathering data, not managing log data or using antiquated spreadsheets. In this manner, the survey concluded that without a proper and systematic approach to sort big data, all of the information gathered is useless. A proper analytic tool can help to streamline data, so that it can be sorted and sifted through easily, but, more importantly, a strategized approach can help kick start the process in the first place.

2. Obtaining relevant data and forwarding it to the concerned persons: Besides a proper approach to obtaining and processing big data, a major problem encountered also includes obtaining the right kind of information and then sharing it with decision makers. It is easy for one to get buried under the huge amount of data obtained from various sources and hence, once a systematic approach to collating and sorting the data is established, it must be implemented for profitable results. So, once data is mapped there needs to be a way to sort the important and high priority data from the seemingly insignificant data and then a way of forwarding this data to the concerned persons so that actionable results can be taken.

3. Analytical tools to infer and obtain insights from data: Data obtained is always huge and on its own, doesn’t necessarily provide information that is helpful. It needs to be sliced and evaluated in such a manner that it can be analyzed and useful information can be extracted. The right CRM analytical tools can help data scientists organize and utilize the data so that customer trends and market conditions among other things can be known from the volumes of data obtained. Thus, analytical tools need to be used, including data visualization tools, to sort volumes of data into meaningful information.

4. High demand and low supply of data skills: Data scientists are specialists that are equipped to deal with and interpret huge volumes of data. They help to not only understand customer trends obtained from innumerable sources ranging from the internet to complaints lodged but also aid in predictive analysis and corrective measures that the company take to better its profit and reputation. There is a severe shortage of such skills in the market and organizations need to hire the right kind of people if they wish for the never ending data being added to their collection to make sense.

Overcoming hurdles to tap into the potential of Big Data using CRM
As far as the issue of security concerns goes, companies need to plan everything in advance so as to minimize the risks of letting sensitive data fall into the wrong hands. Cyber criminals are well known for their access to technology that can break through protected files, they are professionals who have very competent capabilities in their field, which is why the company needs to think and plan in advance. A well placed and effective cyber-resilience module, with preparedness strategies in case such an event occurs will ensure that no financial or reputational loss is incurred by the company. Employees must be trained to strictly adhere to company data usage policies, with repeated warnings of dire actions to follow in case they do not. Creating protected and restricted files, which can only be accessed by a select few will also help this cause. This can be done by using a filter at the very step, wherein sensitive data is immediately directed to and stored in restricted files as soon as it is collected. Also, certain businesses that rely on external supply chains for their incoming raw materials should ensure that these outsourcers and business partners have well maintained security practices in place as well. Therefore, although data stored usually has certain inbuilt security features, by the addition of more stringent settings, data can be thoroughly protected without any worries of misuse or abuse.

The entire point of CRM solution software when it comes to big data is to ensure that it is thoroughly processed and then suitable inferences are drawn. Once the employees are trained and they get into the habit of using CRM, big data will hardly seem like the daunting monster it is perceived to be. Rather than treating large data as an uphill task, it should be treated as a challenge that will yield positive outcomes which will benefit the entire organization. Thus, although big data may seem like a scary and overwhelming undertaking at first, with the help of a suitable CRM software, starting with baby steps, this data can be smartly integrated and analyzed to uncover hidden gems in the form of existing customer trends and predictive market trend information that can give a company an edge over their competitors and encourage repeat business from loyal customers.

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