Business Applications of Big Data: Considerations for Not-for-Profits

Business Applications of Big Data: Considerations for Not-for-Profits

Javier Vidal-García (University of Valladolid, Spain), Marta Vidal (Complutense University of Madrid, Spain) and Rafael Hernández Barros (Complutense University of Madrid, Spain)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2537-0.ch007
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Twenty-first century organizations face a challenge and an unprecedented opportunity: to build a new model of relationship with current and potential clients which is more efficient and innovative. And this necessarily implies to acquire a completely new corporate culture in which the collection, management and interpretation of information will inspire the entire business. Under this new business scenario, the data is not understood as part of a process but instead to be part of the core business as a decision tool. Only if companies can manage this flood of information will be able to understand what we do and where they are going; identify the tastes and preferences of consumers and, more importantly, anticipate their decisions to adapt the services in real time and in a personalized way. The Big Data points companies beyond the facts: transforms the actions into predictions.
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The term Big Data refers to all those datasets whose size exceeds the ability to search, capture, storage, management, analysis, transfer, display or legal protection of conventional tools. Under that name it also includes infrastructure solutions and models needed to extract value from these groups of information in the most economical way, fast and flexible as possible for intelligent decision-making (Lazer, Kennedy, King & Vespignani, 2014).

The data sets included under this concept are characterized also by its variety in both origin and formats; the speed at which they occur; and the veracity or implied to their nature and mode of use.

In essence, the Big Data enables intelligent study and exploitation of millions of bytes of information on all kinds of events and activities-from atmospheric variations to daily patterns of consumption -, produced, disseminated or stored through mobile phones, social networks or, for example, machines connected to the Internet of Things (Mian, Rao, & Sufi, 2013). In 2012, and in around two-year period, it is estimated that humanity had generated by these means about 2.5 zetabytes information, ie, the ninety percent of all produced throughout his history.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Information Technology: It is the use of any computers, storage, networking and other processes to create, store and exchange electronic data.

Data Management: Development and execution of policies and procedures to manage the information of a company in an effective manner.

Computational Intelligence: The ability of a computer to learn a specific task from data or experimental observation.

Business Intelligence: The methodology for the acquisition and transformation of raw data into useful information for business analysis.

Big Data: Large volume of data that inundates a business on a day-to-day basis.

Business Decision Making: Decision making is an essential aspect of business success.

Business Analytics: Skills, technologies, practices for ongoing exploration and investigation of previous company performance to gain insight and drive business planning.

Electronic Commerce: A business model that enables to conduct business over the internet.

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