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How big data is transforming professional services

Professional service companies are undergoing fundamental transformation, which is enabled by technology and driven by data.

From the demand for greater speed of business, to the digital delivery of services, even prior to the Covid-19 pandemic a number of trends and demands were impacting the professional services industry as a whole.

Research shows that responses to the pandemic have sped up business adoption of digital technologies, many of which are likely to be here for the long haul. And none more so than in the professional services industry, where utilising big data is proving an effective way to make better decisions, reduce costs, grow revenue, and limit risks.

What is big data?

Big data essentially refers to the large volume of data which inundates businesses daily. These large, diverse, and complex sets of information grow at constantly increasing rates. This high-volume, high-velocity and often high-variety type of data demands innovative and cost-effective forms of information processing which provide enhanced insight, decision-making and automation of processes.

How big data is driving change within professional services

Facilitating better decisions

By analysing data, businesses can measure, track, and record performance metrics. This, in turn, provides management with information backed up by research to facilitate better decision making.

By directing processes and actions based on trends and comparing data to that of competitors’, professional services can enhance performance through the likes of cutting costs, making more informed marketing, sales, and customer service decisions, and engaging more proficiently with customers.

Studies back up such claims, with research showing that businesses which use big data for decision making witness up to a 10% increase in profit and a 10% decrease in overall costs.

Mitigating risk and fraud

Fraud within professional services has been on the rise for a number of years However, the ongoing impact of the pandemic, including a shift to remote working models, has exacerbated the risk of being targeted by fraudsters to professional services providers.

Big data is being used to detect potential fraud. The analysis of big data identifies risks and fraud during audits and the process of finding discrepancies is more filtered and streamlined.

Reduce risk for new business

When setting up a new business or extending an existing business into new territory, big data can be used to help forecast whether the business would be viable in a particular area or target group. Professional service providers can use big data involving the likes of traffic, location, area demographics and customer behaviour to make a more accurate assessment of revenue forecast and business success.

Improved products and services

With the ability to identify customer needs and determine levels of satisfaction, big data analytics also enables professional service providers to create new and improved solutions and products.

Having access to such large volumes of informative data, brands can avoid the guesswork involved with product development and make more informed product and services decisions based on exactly what the customer wants.

Rachel McKenzie