What Can I do With Big Data, and Just How Big is it?

Corporate decision makers know they must incorporate data sets of increasing size into their strategies, but this begs the question: “What can I do with Big Data?”

Through utilising Big Data, you can achieve a new level of commercial understanding, and discover insights that can be used to fine-tune your corporate processes.

Big Data: the big picture Big Data is massive. It’s typically measured in terabytes, petabytes (one equals four times the information stored in the US Library of Congress) and zettabytes (1tn gigabytes).

These statistics illustrate just how huge Big Data has become:

  • By 2020, there will be over 6.1 billion smartphone users and 50 billion IoT connected devices worldwide
  • By 2020, every human will produce 1.7 megabytes of data per second, and our digital universe will have grown to 10 times that of today
  • At present, less than 0.5% of data generated is ever utilised

It’s clear to see that Big Data has only just started its growth curve.

What can I do with Big Data?

Getting to grips with Big Data is worthwhile: Forbes reports that retailers who fully embrace it could increase operating margins by up to 60%. However, it’s very difficult to analyse without specialist tools because the sheer volume of the data can obscure any useful insights.

Processed efficiently, however, Big Data can do much to improve your location planning and business strategy.

Location planning

Big Data can tell you where to situate your next store, or how best to re-distribute resources to optimise ROI.

You can collate data on the following variables:

  • Company and competitor sales
  • Customer, competitor and staff proximity
  • Local demography
  • Transport links and expected footfall

Utilise innovative software packages and compare company, customer and locality-based data in specific areas. Use mapping software to visualise this data and find new locations that correlate with your chosen criteria or the location of a strongly performing store.

Property performance

Big Data can also provide insight into your existing commercial property portfolio.

Analysing data from your property portfolio enables you to:

  • Review store profitability vs overall expenditure over time
  • Evaluate individual store performance and repeat successful techniques elsewhere
  • Establish whether store re-development or a new store would be more profitable

By collating and analysing this data with intuitive mapping software, you can compare all the stores in your property portfolio. This enables you to better quantify strong performances, figure out which stores are performing best, then repeat the model elsewhere.


Big Data can help fine-tune your marketing initiatives, enabling you to launch targeted, 1-on-1 marketing campaigns.

You can use Big Data to:

  • Develop detailed marketing personas
  • Find out when’s best to dispatch targeted marketing communications (such as, when a person passes your store on the commute home)
  • Incentivise customers to choose your store over a competitor’s
  • Cultivate customer loyalty with timely deals and offers relating to known buyer preferences

Visualise your customer, sales and locality-related data, and create a versatile, in-depth resource that explains your customers’ preferences and routine.

This detailed overview can help you develop personalised marketing resources that reach customers when and where they want them.

The full commercial potential of Big Data is far from being realised, but it is already a highly effective tool. Use intuitive mapping and analysis software to visualise your Big Data and bring a new level of strategy to your decision-making processes.

Discover how Periscope® can help you gain valuable insights from Big Data.