Big companies are using big data analytics to optimise business

By Indra Giri & Priya Chetty on April 27, 2017

Big data applications are vital for storing and processing large amounts of data. Depending on the type of organisation, big data sets can be used to better understand customer needs and preferences. Amazon stores, for example, are using big data applications to process data of its customers and provide them with recommendations for future purchases. Its advertisements are also tailored to customer purchasing trends and their history.

Sony is using big data for a better customer experience

Sony is a Japanese company that manufactures consumer electronics, semiconductors, video games, computer hardware and telecommunications equipment. Its subsidiary, Sony Mobile, adopted Big Data a few years ago and according to Sony Mobile, the purpose was to bring a better experience for its customers (Doorn, 2013). Sony was also said to be raising $4 billion to invest in the Internet of Things (IoT) (Eddy, 2016).

An American subsidiary of Sony, Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) also joined hands with a big data solutions provider, TEKsystems, in 2012. The SCEA does the marketing and distribution of Sony’s popular gaming console, PlayStation in North America. Thus, the decision was taken to develop better relations with their gamers and followers (TEKsystems, 2012).

Infosys makes data analysis easy with its solutions

Infosys Limited, an Indian multinational corporation, offers services such as business consulting, information technology and outsourcing. It also provides the Infosys Information Platform (IIP) for the analysis of data (Infosys Limited, 2016). It is a billion-dollar company with thousands of employees and clients. In April 2016, Infosys invested in Trifacta to obtain data wrangling solutions for its IIP and various platforms and to provide their non-technical users with the ease to analyse data without requiring any expertise (Infosys Newsroom, 2016). In November 2016, Infosys invested in another company, TidalScale, to benefit from its various platforms; the amount of investment was not disclosed. TidalScale is a company which provides solutions to big data problems (Mendonca, 2016).

In addition in January 2017, Infosys was positioned as a Leader and Star Performer in the 2016 PEAK Matriz by the Everest Group for its big data and analytics services (Infosys Newsroom, 2017).

Citi is using big data for fraud detection from its customer data

Citi is an American multinational corporation which provides investment banking and financial services. It operates in more than 160 countries servicing over 200 million customers. Thus, Citi had to resort to big data solutions to enhance its services.

According to Don Callahan, head of operations and technology at Citi, the company has been using big data applications since 2009 to get the most out of the data they collect from its customers (Callahan, 2013). Additionally, data helps the company to detect fraud, prevent money laundering as well as monitor customers’ credit trustworthiness  (“Crunching the numbers,” 2012). Millions of transactions take place every day which cannot be handled by traditional software.

Netflix is using big data for accurate prediction 

Netflix is an American entertainment company, based in California, which has been providing online streaming media and video-on-demand since 1997. As of January 2017, they have over 93.8 million subscribers worldwide (Netflix, 2017). Therefore, it is little wonder they have been using big data solutions to improve the experience of their subscribers by getting insights into their viewing habits. Based on those insights, similar shows can be recommended to subscribers (Marr, 2015).

In addition, Netflix announced an open competition in 2006, Netflix Prize, inviting coders to make an algorithm. This would improve the accuracy of their predictions about how much an individual would like to watch a movie or show on the basis of his or her old ratings and history. The prize was set at US$1 Million and the winner was BellKor’s Pragmatic Chaos team because their accuracy of predictions improved by 10% (Netflix, 2006). Similarly, other competitions have been held by Netflix to improve the accuracy of its predictions.

eBay is using big data for search optimization 

eBay is a multi-billion-dollar e-commerce corporation, headquartered in California and operates in various countries. The company manages where people can buy or sell a variety of products, along with an option to auction.

eBay is 22 years old and has been using big data solutions for analytics in the last decade. Over the last few years, they had invested time, effort and money in improvising their e-commerce platform and user experience. Furthermore, in 2013, they announced a big data-driven search engine, Cassini. It was a significant improvement compared with the basic search bar they had been using for years. It not only improved user experience but also boosted Ebay’s sales as almost every purchase on eBay starts with a search (eBay Inc., 2013). Just a year after that, they announced Kylin, an OLAP Engine for analyzing Big Data (eBay Inc. Kylin Team, 2014).

Furthermore, in mid-2016, eBay acquired two companies, Expertmaker and SalesPredict, to improve its data crunch. On one hand, Expertmaker was the provider of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine-learning solutions. On the other hand, SalesPredict was used to analyse customers’ behaviour and monitor their buying preferences (Business Insider, 2016).