By Daniel Hunter

The UK’s army of small and medium sized businesses are being invited to tap into the myriad possibilities of big data as an expert in the field throws open his consultancy for business.

Analyst and big data consultant Masood Alam has several years experience in big data — a practise that has only recently become a buzz word for SMEs — and predictive analytics. Having worked with a plethora of household names including industry leaders in telecoms, education and the service industry, he can now help smaller businesses to use the benefits of big data to drive their brand forwards.

Alam said: “Although big data is a new technology, it’s power and effectiveness is already proven to be immense and it really can perform miracles for a company able to use it to its full capabilities for strategic and commercial purposed.

"Big data and predictive analysis sheds fresh new light on so many business areas and can even be used to help brands large and small discover consumer sentiment, needs and wants. This insight can be used to create a blueprint of how customers should be approached, which can lead to increased revenues and better brand loyalty.

“The same data can also help predict stock market ups and downs and figure out investor behaviour — it really can be applied across every key business unit, giving serious advantages to those able to dig down, sort and effectively analyse the library of information stored. This is where a big data expert is invaluable.”

Many businesses are thought to have relied on custom built tools, judgements based on experiences and some visualisation tools to help dig down deep into their available data. However, this can often lead to complex problems. With the advent of new technologies such as Map Reduce, Hive, Pig, Hadoop and MongoDB, predictive modelling and machine learning has become a reality- it was previously thought to be only applicable for robotics or large AI based products due to it’s complexity and the costs involved in development.

With these new technologies, big data is now more accessible than ever to SMEs keen to understand what their accumulated information really means for the future of their business.

Alam added: “We can use these newly available tools to produce more efficient predictive analytics. More importantly, it means big data can now be used by a much larger spectrum of businesses both big and small. It can be used for example to benefit a retailer struggling to come up with better seasonal offers based on customer behaviour and trends. Or by the energy sector to look into power usage and create better tariffs.”

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