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Big data ‘presents new opportunities’ for several sectors

This year is set to see a large number of companies embrace big data analytics for the first time, with the technology proving highly valuable across a wide range of industries.

And with the number of users of the technology growing, V3 has examined how the solutions is set to impact on several key sectors in 2015.

Retail

The publication observed that the retail sector is already one of the most advanced users of big data, with stores highly familiar with activities such as collecting customer data and using this to formulate targeted offers. And as IT systems become more advanced, they have become able to take an even more sophisticated approach.

Miya Knights, senior research analyst for Europe, the Middle East and Africa at International Data Corporation, told V3: "A proliferation of sources of information from competitors, user-generated content, social media and sensors has created massive volumes of structured and unstructured data available for analysis, which is increasingly required in real time."

She added there are four key areas in which retailers can look to capitalise on this data. These are customer loyalty, revenue growth, cost reduction and new business models.

Finance

There are also several opportunities for the financial sector to benefit from big data, with banks able to offer better-tailored services, reduce churn, or limit the risk of security breaches and credit fraud.

Tony Lock, an analyst with Freeform Dynamics, said: "Banks really want to get better at real-time analytics to reduce fraud and increase cross-sell opportunities." He added firms that have adopted big data in this way have seen great success in terms of cost savings and value.

As a result, interest in big data analytics from financial firms is high. According to Capgemini, 63 per cent of organisations are experimenting with pilot programmes, while one in three have 'hands-on' experience with the technology.

Automotive

Big data will also have a major role to play in the automotive sector, V3 noted. While much of the attention at the moment is on the potential of driverless cars, which will rely on real-time interpretation of big data to evaluate situations and take the correct decision, this is only one way in which companies can take advantage of the wealth of information gained from a vehicle's sensors.

Telematics solutions are now able to gather a wide range of details, such as a car's location, speed and the time of day it is being used. All of this data can then be fed back to insurance companies, which will be able to study an individual's driving style and offer them a tailored quote, with discounts for those who are proven to be safe drivers.

V3 noted: "The role big data plays in the automotive world is only going to increase, and is likely to fuel a wave of innovations."