Data Integration

Big Data is Shaping Healthcare

By | Big Data, Blog, Data Integration | No Comments

Big Data is Shaping Healthcare

Big data lies at the heart of every industry, and healthcare is no exception. While data collection and analysis can help other businesses sell more product or optimize workflow, utilizing data in the medical field has the potential to save lives and help patients become healthy again.


Before someone even steps foot in a hospital, big data can help people live healthier lives. Every day, we log information about our health online. Whether it’s keeping track of our diet using a digital journal, or maintaining a fitness schedule with the help of an app, data is being generated about our health habits.

Analysts can use this data to make predictions and provide preventative care for people deemed at risk, based on what the numbers are showing. Will the help of their doctors, this data can help people live a healthier lifestyle and avoid potential health problems in the future.  

Personalized Medicine

As personal data becomes more abundant, researchers can begin tailoring medical treatment on a patient by patient basis. Personalized medicine is a fairly new concept in the medical field, and one that faces many challenges ahead, but by using each person’s unique genetic code, doctors and patients can decide which method of treatment is best for them. Everything from drug dosage, to physical therapy, and preventative care can be customized.

This could usher in a new age of medical treatment, one that is less expensive and more helpful to the patient. Personalized medicine has a long way to go, but the amount of data that the human body can produce can lead to great benefits if analyzed properly.

Tracking Diseases

Big data played a major role in tracking the Ebola outbreak in 2014. By tracking mobile data, hospital records, media reports, and social media, analysts searched for patterns that could help track the virus and warn countries if it was headed their way.

Researchers have also turned to data analytics in order to better understand diseases in an attempt to find a cure. Clinical trials as well use data to help develop new treatment options for patients. Information is more accessible and available than ever before, especially since everything is being recorded electronically.

By using numbers and patterns found in data sets, the future of the healthcare industry has a bright future ahead. Customized treatment options, flourishing research, and the potential for lower cost healthcare are all on the horizon if big data is used correctly.

Venture Development Center is a full service data consulting firm. If you have any questions, or are wondering how we can make big data work for you, get in contact with us and we’ll be glad to help you out.

Using Digital Data to Retrofit Traditional Customer Acquisition Programs

By | Actionable Data, Big Data, Big Data Strategies, Customer Acquisition Programs, Data Asset, Data Collection, Data Integration, Data Management, Variety, Velocity, Volume | No Comments

Your company continually develops and executes customer acquisition programs to identify prospects that are in your “sweet spot.”  You have your regular lists that you employ to get a lift in your campaigns, but they seem to yield fewer leads as time goes on.  What would happen if you tapped the power of consumers’ voices?  What if you could identify and reach that “sweet spot?”  You can, and the information you need is waiting for you in the social web.

The Dynamic Power of Consumer Voices

Millions of conversations are constantly taking place in the social media sphere, many of which are referencing your products.  These conversations are an ever-changing dataset that point directly to your new prospects.  Imagine the possibilities of gaining up-to-the-minute prospects, real consumers eager to know more about your products.  Instead of using the same old go-to lists, find new prospects by listening to what they’re saying online.

Tapping into the Potential of Actionable Data

The information you’ll find in the social media sphere encompasses the “3 V’s of Big Data,” important characteristics that enable digital data to better inform your marketing and lead generation efforts:

  • Volume – Big Data boasts a depth of data beyond what traditional data sources can offer, offering companies significantly more valuable insights.
  • Velocity – The rate of change in Big Data is greater, given the dynamic nature of the Web, thus offering companies a look at consumer interests in real-time.
  • Variety – Big Data comes in many different formats, including video, web logs, geo-location information, all of which bring a depth unknown to traditional sources.

Harnessing consumers’ voices heard within the realm of Big Data will transform your customer acquisition programs.  By leveraging those Big Data sources that are most likely to have insights on the customers who are, or might be, interested in your products and services, enables you to better identify new prospects and understand their needs.  Analyzing the real-time consumer intent expressed online about your products and services will then allow you to convert more of those identified prospects to customers.  In addition to enhancing your ability to better identify and attract prospects within segments you’ve already identified, Big Data allows you to realize the potential of customers in previously unexplored segments.  In order to compete in the modern business world, companies need to retrofit their traditional customer acquisition programs with the enhanced analytic capabilities Big Data offers.

Understanding the New Skills Needed to Exploit Big Data Potential

By | Big Data, Big Data Strategies, Data Collection, Data Integration, Data Management, Innovation, Profit | No Comments

McKinsey & Company estimates that the US faces a huge shortage of people who have the skills to understand and make decisions based on the analysis and modeling of Big Data*.

Plus, in today’s environment, companies are using less than one-tenth of one percent of the data they could be using.  This is primarily due to a lack of understanding about how to approach the monumental volume of data being generated every day.

Structured databases are fading away as the standard means to house business data, and storage is now a commodity, so that untold amounts of data can be retained for trending and analysis.  Further, with the advent of more and different data formats, including video files, web logs, and social networking, new capabilities in staff and skills are required to exploit Big Data’s potential.

New thinking is now required of your staff so your organization can move beyond structured / linear data fields to a more conceptual approach to database marketing.  As more data is created, newer ways to capture, process, and cultivate it to work for your businesses will be required.  That thinking requires a holistic view of how to cultivate the richness to be derived from social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

New thinking will also be demanded of your staff regarding modeling / analytics.  In the legacy approach to data modeling, numerous tests on subsets of variables were run iteratively until a model emerged.  The processing power and storage capacity available today has the potential to reduce the cost of building models by a factor of 10 and, at the same time, improve the predictive power of the model.  All of this can be accomplished through the application of Big Data.

In order to optimize the full value of Big Data, you’ll need to ensure your staff has the skills required to collect, analyze and apply the new insights to your organization’s specific strategy.  Big Data sources require new thinking in how to evaluate new insights for the benefit of your business’ success.  In addition, the availability of new data formats requires new methods for processing and implementing the information.  However, when approached successfully, the new data environment allows for improved modeling and reduced cost, greatly contributing to your organization’s success.

*Big Data: The next frontier for innovation, competition, and productivity.

McKinsey Global Institute May 2011

VDC Blog - Skills

Collecting and Managing Digital Data Efficiently and Effectively

By | Big Data, Big Data Strategies, Data Collection, Data Integration, Data Management | No Comments

You’re faced with a growing challenge:  your organization has started to obtain sets of digital data to use within your traditional marketing programs, but your current customer data is housed in legacy systems, with some sets of data silo’ed and unavailable for integration.  How do you marry the current data sets with digital data to benefit from the power of both?

Align and integrate the data.

Now more than ever, companies are confronted with the integration of big data streams into their current repositories.  No longer are the structured databases of old the best approach to extracting the value that digital data has to offer.  New systems are available that can act as listening posts, gathering unstructured data from the Web and identifying insights on a whole host of business topics of importance to your company.  These systems, which act as a data hub of sorts, can collect and transform this unstructured data into structured datasets ready for use into existing sales/marketing processes.

Improve decision-making through the use of digital data.

Implementing a digital data hub collection process yields a number of benefits that contribute to a company’s competitive edge in the modern business environment.  Such a process will:

  • Be responsive to many different types of data, including varying formats and structures
  • Allow companies to evaluate data before making large investments in time, personnel, and funding
  • Respond swiftly to new inputs and requirements
  • Evaluate new data sources
  • Facilitate discovery of interplay between different data sources

VDC Image 2.jpg

The structured datasets derived from a digital data hub collection process can be used to vastly improve decision-making in a number of key business areas.  Armed with a host of new knowledge, companies can:

  • Improve account preference identification
  • Transform unstructured data seamlessly into meaningful marketing insights
  • Leverage and realize the value of in-house sources with digital data


In the modern business landscape, it’s important for organizations to carve out clear identities and prove to clients and customers their superiority among competitors.  Efficiently collecting and managing the immense data at your fingertips gives your organization that competitive edge.