What’s the Big Deal with Big Data?
Big data is all the rage. Big data make decisions, it’s one of the hottest buzzwords (and plus points if you can use it), it looks stellar on a resume (if you know what to do with it) and it’s somehow laced into every business conversation.
What’s the big deal with big data, anyway?
In short, big data matters. Big data is the availability of structured and unstructured data for a business. It refers to technology that can store, manage and make important decisions with the data. It can identify hidden patterns, correlations, and discover the unknown.
What’s a company’s best-selling product? Use big data. What’s a company’s next venture? Use big data. What is the company doing wrong? Use big data. Essentially, whatever the query (albeit very few restrictions), use big data.
Big data provides a lot of insight that would take the human brain much longer to identify. Big data analytics deal with the unquantifiable amount of data from a plethora of sources. Using big data as the basis for decision making has been immensely operational and is cost-effective to boot. Big data software can capture a lot of data in a short period time and make sense of it, including doing risk analyses.
In essence, big data can help a lot.
Then, is big data killing creativity? Is it hindering the ability for business or organizations employing the use of big data analytics by taking away the challenge and creativity to make decisions?
Big data isn’t in the market to kill creativity unless you let it. In fact, big data can underpin your creative thinking.
For many marketers, and other creative individuals, great ideas come from challenging the very notion of creativity. But you can’t make those choices blindly. Big data isn’t killing creativity. In fact, big data complements creativity.
When used effectively, big data can support decisions of creativity to allow for a greater rate of success. Big data can give more ideas for industries in the face of oversaturation of ideas.
Behavioral understanding is a driver of creative ideas to make people feel something different. Behavioral agendas can be quantified (read: big data). Companies can use big data to effectively ideate, create, execute and evaluate creative ideas. In fact, “It’s this beautiful partnership of data and creativity that transforms generic needs into specific brand purchases.”
Yet, one important distinction is the linear function of data. Data uses parallel processing to format millions of data. Data is analyzed in linear formats. However, our brains have the capacity to think in non-linear patterns that don’t necessarily connect the dots in any sequence. Our creativity fires in nonlinear arrangements that reflect abstract ideas.
Collecting and analyzing data in specific ways can lead us to ask different questions. It is important to be very mindful of the data we collect, why we collect it and how we use it. Big data shouldn’t hinder us, but be used as a way to push forward. Being conscious about data patterns can affect the way we think to shut down our creative ego unless we remain active in understanding in what linear patterns the data is making sense of what it is taking in.
Ultimately, big data can’t kill creativity, but it can hinder our ability to think in abstract and non-linear formats that may be the ‘aha’ moment in our creative journey. Use big data, but always be mindful.