In an interview with CIO Review magazine, Beyond the Arc CEO, Steven Ramirez shared his insights on the evolution of Big Data analytics in 2013, and what we can expect in 2014. 

What was the impact of Big Data in 2013?

We think the most fascinating developments in Big Data have been with unstructured data. Based on the aggressive consumer adoption of social media, the volume and importance of Big Data have grown over the past year. Whether through platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, or customer complaints and open data, such as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB)  consumer complaint database, businesses have seen customers take over control of their brand as people share positive and negative experiences online.

Companies have had to reevaluate their focus on the customer to ensure a positive reputation for their business, and that’s where Big Data comes in handy. By consistently monitoring and analyzing all this readily available feedback about their organization, businesses have been able to uncover key issues impacting customers and develop strategies to address them before it’s too late.

How will Big Data drive business changes in 2014?

While the expanded availability of Big Data has prompted many organizations to proactively monitor and address online comments about their business, to be successful in 2014 they will need to take it a step further. By tapping into advanced data science such as Predictive Analytics and Text Analytics, businesses can both monitor the customer experience and turn collected data into actionable insights for more profitable results.

2014 looks to be “The Year of the Consumer,” and as digital customer experiences continue to evolve, we’ll see even greater proof of the business value of Big Data. We’re already helping companies define strategic roadmaps for deploying advanced analytics across their enterprise.

What are some of the broader trends we can expect?

There is new momentum behind predictive analytics, text analytics, and social media analytics to generate actionable customer insights. We think these forces can help companies to differentiate themselves in the market, and create sustainable competitive advantages.

While we’ve found advanced analytics to be a very powerful solution for financial services, we’re seeing many new industries join the game – such as utilities, media, and technology – and working with them to  leverage Big Data to meet key business objectives.

We think that mobile will continue to disrupt industries, and gaining insights through data analytics is key to creating the most effective digital customer experiences.