June 7, 2023

The Big (& Small) of Big Data and Why It Matters

Big data is taking off in a big way in 2023, and many believe businesses that capitalize on it will see big results. According to stats published by Exploding Topics, the global big data and analytics market is worth $274 billion, with around 2.5 quintillion bytes of data generated daily. Of that figure, 90% was determined to be generated in just the two years prior to 2021, according to an article published by TheNextTech.

Smartphones, social media, and embedded devices are all equally responsible for making technology more readily accessible, thereby bringing data to the forefront of our lives. According to the publication, the following numbers were relevant in 2021, with the volume of created data forecasted to double every two years:

  • An average of 5.6 billion searches are made every day on Google alone (that number was expected to reach several trillion per day by 2023).
  • More than 63,000 searches are processed by Google every second.
  • An average of 456,000 tweets are posted on Twitter, 46,740 images are posted on Instagram, and 4,146,600 videos are watched on YouTube every minute.
  • Approximately 16 million text messages are sent every minute.
  • Another 156 million emails are sent and 103,447,520 spam emails are received every minute.

Instead of focusing on size alone, though, big data is defined by three V’s: volume, velocity, and variety. Contrary to popular opinion, data management is made challenging due to a combination of the three rather than just the volume alone.

Building off the 3D data model, additional V’s have been proposed to include variability and value. Regardless, the overall theory is that the larger the data load, velocity, and variety, the more insightful it can be to your business—and not leveraging that data, accordingly, can prove costly in the long term.

So, how does big data factor in, especially in business? Well, at the end of the day, it’s all about the bottom line—revenue.

Ultimately, big data has the potential to save businesses significant amounts of money and improve overall efficiencies. However, the exact amount of savings depends on the specific business and its use case. To fully realize the benefits of big data, businesses must have the right tools, skills, and processes in place to effectively collect, analyze, and act on data insights.

How Big Are the Cost-Saving Benefits of Data Analytics? 

Data analysis has been an important tool to provide businesses with valuable insights into overall operations, customer behaviors, and market trends. By using these insights to make data-driven decisions, businesses can reduce costs and increase profitability.

According to Forbes, leveraging big data concurrently with AI technologies can help businesses automate almost 80% of all physical work, 70% of data processing, and 64% of data collection tasks. This means less overhead.

Also, collecting, managing, and using data wisely can help companies learn a lot about their current audience. Once you know your potential market and its size, you can better tweak your business approach with your consumers’ benefit in mind to increase both spending and brand loyalty. You can also address problems in real-time, adjusting processes when it makes sense to do so to prevent costly delays or dissatisfaction.

Finally, when you love your data as you should, you have a vital opportunity to thwart security threats, such as cyber or ransomware attacks. Businesses that protect their data at all costs can increase compliance, avoid huge fines, offer enhanced customer experiences, and gain a competitive advantage in their field.

Here are some examples of how businesses can maximize their cost-savings with data analytics:

  • Identifying inefficiencies or waste (e.g., high inventory levels or lengthy production cycles) and taking steps to eliminate them.
  • Optimizing pricing strategies by analyzing customer data and market trends, thereby increasing sales and revenue while also ensuring that money is not left on the table.
  • Improving marketing ROI by getting a better understanding of customers’ behavior and preferences, allowing for more targeted and effective marketing campaigns, thereby reducing overall marketing costs while still achieving business objectives.
  • Streamlining operations like reducing wait times or improving product quality can reduce costs while also improving customer satisfaction.
  • Predicting and preventing problems by analyzing data from your operations and supply chain, identifying potential problems before they occur, and taking proactive steps to prevent things from going wrong, reducing downtime, repair costs, and other expenses.

What About Big Data Specifically? 

Big data and data analytics are closely related concepts, and they often work hand in hand to generate insights and drive cost savings. It’s not a matter of one being superior to the other in terms of cost savings but rather how they are used together.

Big data refers to the vast amount of structured and unstructured data that organizations collect from various sources like social media, sensors, transaction records, and more. Big data technologies enable the storage, processing, and analysis of large volumes of data.

On the other hand, data analytics is the process of examining and interpreting data to extract meaningful insights, patterns, and trends. There are various approaches to data analysis or techniques used, including statistical analysis, data mining, predictive modeling, machine learning, and more.

The effective use of big data and data analytics requires skilled professionals, robust data infrastructure, and a clear understanding of business objectives. The value and cost savings derived from various big data and data analytics approaches depend on how well they are implemented and integrated into an organization’s operations and decision-making processes.

When combined successfully, big data and data analytics can lead to cost savings in the following ways:

  • Improved Operational Efficiency
  • Enhanced Customer Targeting and Retention
  • Fraud Detection and Risk Mitigation
  • Predictive Maintenance
  • Supply Chain Optimization

Does Quality Matter? 

Regardless of how well data is used, its overall quality goes a long way to ensure its value.

Previously, Business Wire reported that 82% of organizations consider data quality a high priority. As a result, marketers spend 32% of their time managing data quality. Still, according to research, 26% of marketing campaigns were harmed by poor or substandard data quality.

In one report, 94% of respondents agreed that poor data quality negatively impacts their business. However, according to nine out of ten respondents, improving data quality had the biggest positive impact on customer experiences.

Therefore, the accuracy, completeness, consistency, reliability, and relevance of data is just as important as the use of the data. Business leaders rely on quality data to:

  • Extract information/insights
  • Create accurate models
  • Make reliable predictions
  • Understand business trends
  • Meet regulatory obligations
  • Safeguard against legal issues
  • Personalize customer experiences
  • Ensure smooth operations/processes
  • Minimize errors and inefficiencies

The biggest repercussion of poor data quality is wasted money. Poor data quality can lead to increased costs. For example, errors in inventory data can result in stockouts or overstocking, leading to lost sales or excess inventory costs.

Additionally, one study found that 21 cents of every media dollar spent by organizations in a one-year period was wasted because of poor data quality. When marketing campaigns are ineffective due to poor data quality, it can result in accurate targeting and lost customers.

Other areas affected by poor data quality include:

  • Decision-Making
  • Efficiency and Effectiveness
  • Customer Satisfaction
  • Compliance and Regulatory Requirements
  • Data Analysis and Insights

Big Data Trends Coming at Us in a Big Way in 2023 

The field of big data is rapidly evolving, driven by technological advancements and the ever-increasing volume of data being generated. From artificial intelligence and machine learning revolutionizing analytics to edge computing enabling real-time processing, big data trends are shaping the way organizations extract insights and make informed decisions.

By staying in-the-know and one step ahead of these trends, organizations can harness the power of big data to gain actionable insights, optimize operations, and drive innovation across industries. Businesses are navigating this data-driven landscape to gain a competitive advantage, with a focus on:

  • Increased Use of AI and Machine Learning
  • Edge Computing
  • Hybrid Cloud Solutions
  • Data Lakes
  • Data Governance and Privacy
  • Streaming Analytics
  • Data Democratization
  • DataOps

Big Data Use Cases 

Big data has numerous use cases across different industries, each with unique challenges that can benefit from data-driven insights. Examples include:

Retail and E-Commerce

  • Customer segmentation and personalization based on purchase history, browsing patterns, and social media data.
  • Demand forecasting to optimize inventory management and prevent stockouts.
  • Price optimization using competitor analysis and market trends.
  • Fraud detection by analyzing transaction patterns and identifying anomalies.


  • Disease surveillance and outbreak prediction using real-time data from various sources, including social media and wearable devices.
  • Precision medicine by analyzing large-scale genomic data to tailor treatments to individual patients.
  • Predictive analytics for early detection of diseases and identification of high-risk patients.
  • Health monitoring through connected devices, generating continuous patient data for analysis and diagnosis.

Finance and Banking 

  • Risk assessment and fraud detection by analyzing large volumes of transactional data in real-time.
  • Algorithmic trading by processing vast amounts of market data to identify patterns and make informed investment decisions.
  • Customer sentiment analysis using social media data to gauge public opinion and adjust marketing strategies accordingly.
  • Personalized financial recommendations based on transaction history, spending patterns, and customer behavior.

Manufacturing and Supply Chain 

  • Predictive maintenance to optimize equipment uptime, reduce downtime, and lower maintenance costs by analyzing sensor data and machine logs.
  • Supply chain optimization through demand forecasting, inventory management, and route optimization based on historical and real-time data.
  • Quality control by analyzing sensor data and production metrics to identify defects and improve overall product quality.
  • Energy optimization by analyzing data from sensors and smart meters to identify energy inefficiencies and reduce costs.


  • Network optimization and capacity planning based on usage patterns (i.e., analyzes large-scale network data to improve network performance, identify bottlenecks, and prevent service disruptions).
  • Customer churn prediction and retention strategies.
  • Sentiment analysis of customer feedback and social media data.
  • Network security and fraud detection.
  • Personalized marketing campaigns and offers based on customer preferences.

Transportation and Logistics

  • Route optimization and traffic management using real-time data from GPS systems, traffic sensors, and weather conditions to minimize travel time and fuel consumption.
  • Demand forecasting to optimize inventory and ensure timely delivery.
  • Real-time tracking and monitoring of shipments and assets.
  • Traffic analysis and congestion prediction for improved transportation planning.
  • Fleet management by monitoring vehicle performance, driver behavior, and fuel consumption to optimize logistics operations.
  • Predictive maintenance of vehicles and equipment by analyzing sensor data to detect potential issues and schedule maintenance in advance.

Energy and Utilities

  • Smart grid management through real-time data analysis to optimize energy distribution, monitor power consumption, and predict demand patterns (i.e., energy consumption forecasting and demand response).
  • Renewable energy optimization by analyzing weather data, energy generation data, and demand patterns to maximize the efficiency of renewable energy sources.
  • Predictive maintenance of energy infrastructure by analyzing sensor data to detect potential failures and schedule maintenance proactively.
  • Energy monitoring and sustainability analysis.

Media and Entertainment 

  • Content recommendation systems that personalize user experiences based on viewing history, preferences, and social media interactions.
  • Audience analytics by analyzing social media data and viewer engagement metrics to understand audience behavior and preferences.
  • Content optimization through sentiment analysis and user feedback analysis to improve content quality and relevance.


  • Risk assessment and underwriting using predictive analytics to analyze various data sources and determine appropriate premiums and coverage.
  • Claims management and fraud detection by analyzing claims data and identifying patterns of fraudulent behavior.
  • Customer behavior analysis to personalize insurance offerings and improve customer retention.

Government and Public Services 

  • Smart city initiatives by analyzing data from various sources like sensors, cameras, and social media to improve urban planning, transportation, and citizen services.
  • Public health surveillance and monitoring using real-time data to identify disease outbreaks and implement effective measures.
  • Crime prediction and prevention by analyzing historical crime data, social media, and sensor data to identify high-risk areas and allocate resources efficiently.

Big Data Challenges: How Big It Too Big? 

Dealing with enormous volumes of data generated from various sources can be overwhelming. If the volume is too large, you can get bogged down in the details, storing, curating, and preparing data. If it’s too much to handle, you may never get around to actually using the data to benefit your business. To manage large amounts of data effectively requires robust infrastructure and efficient algorithms.

Aside from data volume, other challenges associated with big data include:

  • Data Variety
  • Data Velocity
  • Data Veracity
  • Data Complexity
  • Data Privacy and Security
  • Data Integration
  • Scalability
  • Ethical Considerations
  • Skill Gap

Oxford Can Help 

Working with big data to unlock valuable insights requires specialized skills in data engineering, data science, and analytics. The shortage of skilled professionals in these areas can pose a challenge for organizations looking to leverage big data effectively. That’s where we come in!

Oxford has The Right Talent. Right Now.® for all your big data needs. We can help businesses navigate the complexities of big data, harnessing its full potential and turning it into actionable strategies to gain a competitive edge in their respective industry. Additionally, we can customize resources to align with company-specific budget and goals. In other words, we tailor our services to meet our clients where they’re at because we know that real solutions that solve unique problems are never one-size-fits-all.

Whether you’re just starting their big data journey or looking to optimize your existing data infrastructure, we can guide you every step of the way.

In this digital age, data should never go untapped. Embracing the power of big data can lead to enhanced decision-making, improved operational efficiency, and proven innovation. Together, let’s unlock the full potential of a data-driven future.

Quality. Commitment.

Whether you want to advance your business or your career, Oxford is here to help. With nearly 40 years’ experience, we know that a great partnership is key to success. Start a conversation today.