A tidal wave of valuable data is surging from the Internet and connected devices today, and the volume is growing exponentially each year. It's enough to drown any business which tries to fight it or ignore it, and it's an opportunity to ride higher and faster than even the successes of Google and Facebook, for those startups that use it as their driving force.
In a recent study by networking giant Cisco, the world's yearly mobile data traffic grew 81 percent in 2013 and will reach 1.3 zettabytes by the year 2016. If stored on CDs, this would require a stack from here to the moon and back more than five times. According to a new book "Data Crush," by Christopher Surdak, data will be the largest source of new opportunities for startups, or death.
According to what I see, as outlined by Surdak, this data surge is being driven by the following six technological and social trends:
As an entrepreneur, what steps can you take to help your business not only survive the data hurricane, but to thrive under these new and challenging conditions? Surdak emphasizes that the goal is to either mitigate some of the pressure caused by data growth or to put that pressure to work for you in growing your startup and remaining competitive:
- Focus: play to your strengths. Determine your core business strategy and resolve to remain true to it. Make strategic versus opportunistic decisions.
- Accelerate: speed is life in this new world. Look for and reward quantum changes, like cutting cycle time in half, in your processes, products and services.
- Data enable: use metrics and measurements. Extend data metrics into non-traditional channels, such as email, internal social media and customer collaboration platforms.
- Quantification: big data, bigger results and controls. Startups should seek to continually improve performance through statistical analysis and predictive monitoring.
- Gamify: engagement to get what you pay for. Use internal collaboration platforms, then extend to online customers through your website, blogs and social media.
- Crowdsource: putting your audience to work beyond customers. Look beyond today's requirements for entire new market opportunities.
You need to start now to understand the trends and specifics of the information tidal wave that is building up in front of us. Use the steps outlined here to stay ahead of it, and use its power to propel your startup into the future, ahead of your competition. The possibilities are endless, but the downside will be painful.