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by Graham Cookson
in Big Data
on 10 June 2014

What is big data? Part 3: How big data can help you gain the competitive edge

This is the third and last part of our series ‘What is big data?’. In this post we will round up this introduction to big data and briefly look at how big data can help you gain the edge, where standard search engine results perhaps cannot, and we finish off our introduction to big data with a summary of all three parts.

Big data can help you gain the competitive edge

There are a variety of big data management and analytics tools available on the market now; generally most of these focus on specific sectors, or gather from a select few sources – such as social media platforms or only Twitter.

Though there are some which will cover all sectors and gather data from all sources (including websites, forums, blogs, social media and news channels), but all of these tools can help businesses gain the competitive edge.

Unlike standard search engines, some of these analytics tools will not only search the Internet for sources and gather your data, but they will convert this into valuable fundamental and technical indicators, patterns, trends and predictive metrics – providing you with a bigger picture than a standard Internet search.

But they have to be used correctly; as mentioned before, you can’t just take one of these tools and expect magic to happen. You must know your goal - be it monitoring fluctuations in patients’ vital signs, understanding your audience’s needs to better communicate with them, or working out why a product might sell well in one country, but not others.

Once a target is set and understood, you can then choose the right big data analytics tool for your needs and target it to search for the data that matters to you.
We will cover the full benefits of big data analytics tools and how they can help you gain the competitive edge in a future white paper.


With the constant growth of the Internet and the continued (and expanding) use of social media, big data management is becoming more common place and a more important tool to help make sense of the huge amount of information out there.

The application of big data management and its potential is vast, but the true benefits can only really be seen when the data is collected and handled efficiently by the end-user.

With a number of big data management companies out there now, each catering to different sectors and utilising different sources for information, it is up to you (the user) to understand what your goals for big data management are and how you want to best achieve them.

The key to achieving success with big data is to ensure that you have set goals and targets that you wish to accomplish before you set out. Those goals could be as simple as understanding your customers’ needs for a business, or monitoring certain companies or industries to make informed decisions with investments.

We hope this mini-series of blog posts has helped inform you about big data. If you would like to download this series in full, please click here for the pdf version of our white paper, 'What is big data?'.

In our next blog series we will look at the history and rapid growth of big data in recent years.


<<< Click here to read Part 2: Why we need big data tools

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