Big data, AI and custom software: How they relate and what it means for your business

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By Andrew Ngozo

You’ve probably heard the term big data before, but what does it really mean? Where does big data fit into your business model? What about artificial intelligence? You probably use software daily, but what makes software unique from other industries and how does it relate to big data and AI? These are all questions that arise when talking about big data, AI and custom software solutions.

What is big data?

Big data is a term used to describe datasets whose size is beyond the ability of typical database software tools to capture, store, manage and analyse. The three Vs of big data—volume, variety and velocity—are related concepts that are often used together to help define big data. Big data contains massive amounts of information gathered from several different sources at different points in time. This can include live sensors (such as video feeds), recorded information (such as log files) or a combination of both. A common example is Internet traffic logs over a given period; another might be GPS tracking information collected from customers while they shop at certain locations.

What is artificial intelligence?

Artificial intelligence (AI) is in many ways similar to human intelligence. Essentially, it’s a computer programme capable of performing tasks that normally require human intelligence. Generally speaking, these tasks involve learning from experience and reasoning based on that experience. Examples include making predictions about user behaviour or more complex activities like speech recognition or autonomous navigation around an obstacle course.

Where does custom software fit in?

In recent years, there’s been a lot of buzz about big data. Big data refers to large amounts of structured and unstructured data that may be analysed to uncover trends or patterns; it also may be used to predict future behaviour. While some people associate big data with statistical analysis and visualisation software such as Excel pivot tables or Tableau, other platforms like Apache Hadoop provide unique access to massive quantities of raw data.

While both big data and custom software have a role to play in improving business efficiency, there are some fundamental differences between them. No matter which format you choose to use—or whether you choose to blend them together—custom software can give your company a competitive edge by enabling employees at all levels of your organisation to work more efficiently.

For example, custom software can help support your company’s ability to connect with customers. If your organisation depends on salespeople or customer service representatives to carry out complex or repetitive tasks regularly—such as contacting customers who haven’t purchased in six months—custom software can streamline that process.

When a salesperson accesses his or her software to see which customers need follow-up contact, they’ll be able to make those calls in an organised manner that minimises downtime. Similarly, customer service representatives can schedule routine tasks like responding to emails or offering price quotes as part of their daily work; that way, they have time left over to concentrate on more complicated issues when they arise.

By incorporating big data into your software programmes, you can empower your employees to make faster decisions based on greater amounts of information. Big data is often used to identify patterns that may be difficult to see with traditional software alone; it can also help predict how a change in one aspect of a company will affect other areas over time.

What is the benefit of leveraging all three together?

One of the first things to understand is how big data, AI, and custom software relate to one another. The truth is that they’re not even a little bit separate; they’re all part of an information ecosystem that can ultimately help your business make better decisions. As you read on in a bit more detail about each piece individually, you’ll see how and why it’s important for businesses to leverage them together—the sum does become greater than its parts.

You could have large amounts of data you’re analysing. You could even have that analysed by artificial intelligence. But what good is any of it if your business can’t use it to make decisions? Custom software helps to bridge that gap between information and actionable business intelligence. This is one of many reasons why big data has become so popular in recent years; businesses want to leverage every available resource they can, including data, to be more effective and efficient with their business processes.

Big data is more than just a buzzword that you see in newspapers. In fact, it has serious implications for your business and how you manage your company. Understanding what it is, why you need it to succeed—and of course, all of its benefits—can go a long way towards helping you truly leverage it in your day-to-day operations.

Despite all of that information in your hands, you might still find yourself feeling pretty lost about how to properly utilise it. This is where custom software comes into play. Now that you have all of these tools at your disposal to inform your decision-making process and empower business intelligence across your company, what do you do with them? Custom software is a way to effectively turn big data into actionable business intelligence through automated processes.

Leverage custom software development with SovTech

SovTech is one of Africa’s leading custom software development companies. The company has more than 200 of the best software engineering experts, and we have worked with hundreds of clients from a variety of industries. We offer competitive rates, exceptional customer service, fast turnaround times on projects, and a solid reputation within our industry. Our customers come from across the globe and we have offices in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Nairobi, London and Dubai – solidly enabling us to offer world-class software development for your business. Visit our website for more information.

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