It is no longer a secret that big data is a reason behind the successes of many major technology companies. However, as more and more companies embrace it to store, process and extract value from their huge volume of data, it is becoming a challenge for them to use the collected data in the most efficient way.
That’s where machine learning can help them. Data is a boon for machine learning systems. The more data a system receives, the more it learns to function better for businesses. Hence, using machine learning for big data analytics happens to be a logical step for companies to maximize the potential of big data adoption.
Makes sense of big data
Big data refers to extremely large sets of structured and unstructured data that cannot be handled with traditional methods. Big data analytics can make sense of the data by uncovering trends and patterns. Machine learning can accelerate this process with the help of decision-making algorithms. It can categorize the incoming data, recognize patterns and translate the data into insights helpful for business operations.
Compatible with all elements of big data
Machine learning algorithms are useful for collecting, analyzing and integrating data for large organizations. They can be implemented in all elements of big data operation, including data labeling and segmentation, data analytics and scenario simulation.
Below are some instances to illustrate how machine learning can be put to use to analyze big data:
• Carrying out market research and segmentation. The target audience is the cornerstone of any business. Every enterprise needs to understand the audience and market that it wants to target in order to be successful. That is the reason enterprises need to carry out market research that can delve deep into the minds of potential customers and provide insightful data. Machine learning can help in this regard by using supervised and unsupervised algorithms to interpret consumer patterns and behaviors accurately. Media and the entertainment industry use machine learning to understand the likes and dislikes of their audiences and target the right content to them.
• Exploring customer behavior. Machine learning does not stop after drawing a picture of your target audience. It also helps businesses explore audience behavior and create a solid framework of their customers. This system of machine learning, known as user modeling, is a direct outcome of human-computer interaction. It mines data to capture the mind of the user and enable business enterprises to make intelligent decisions. Facebook, Twitter, Google and others rely on user modeling systems to know their users inside out and make relevant suggestions.
• Personalizing recommendations. Businesses need to offer personalization to their customers. Be it a smartphone or a web series, companies need to establish a strong connection with their users to deliver what’s relevant to them. Big data machine learning is best put to use in a recommendation engine. It combines context with user behavior predictions to influence user experience based on their activities online. This way, it can empower businesses to make correct suggestions that customers find interesting. Netflix uses machine learning-based recommender systems to suggest the right content to its viewers.
• Predicting trends. Machine learning algorithms use big data to learn future trends and forecast them to businesses. With the help of interconnected computers, a machine learning network can constantly learn new things on its own and improve its analytical skills every day. In this way, it not just calculates data but behaves like an intelligent system that uses past experiences to shape the future. An air conditioner brand can depend on machine learning to predict the demand for air conditioners in the next season and plan its production accordingly.
• Aiding decision-making. Machine learning uses a technique called time series analysis that is capable of analyzing an array of data together. It is a great tool for aggregating and analyzing data and makes it easier for managers to make decisions for the future. Businesses, especially retailers, can use this ML-boosted method to predict the future with commendable accuracy.
• Decoding patterns. Machine learning can be highly efficient to decipher data in industries where understanding consumer patterns can lead to major breakthroughs. For example, sectors like healthcare and pharmaceuticals have to deal with a lot of data. Machine learning can help them analyze the data to identify diseases in the initial stage among patients. Machine learning can also allow hospitals to manage patient services better by analyzing past health reports, pathological reports and disease histories. All of these can lead to better diagnoses at healthcare centers and boost medical research in the long run.
Right steps for effective transition to machine learning
Switching to machine learning can be a big leap for businesses and cannot be simply integrated as a topmost layer. It entails redefining workflows, architecture, data collection and storage, analytics and other modules. The magnitude of system overhaul should be assessed and communicated clearly to the right stakeholders.
A step-by-step approach, as cliched as it may sound, is what works best for any such transition. First, enterprises need to build a robust AI- and ML-based strategy that is in sync with their business goal. Secondly, they should remember that quality data is key to realizing the full potential of machine learning tools. Companies need to create a corporate culture around data. The right people and the right data can make a huge difference. Finally, time is of the essence, and businesses need to act fast.
As the volume of data keeps increasing with time, collecting and managing data is becoming a herculean task for businesses. Besides, collecting data is only half the work. Managing and deducing meaning out of the data thus collected to improve marketing strategy and increase revenue is the bigger battle. Implementing machine learning for big data analytics is certainly a technology enhancement I would suggest for your business if you want to use your big data optimally.