In today’s digital age, there is no shortage of data collected from consumers and businesses. With technological advances and the rise of computers and the Internet, mass amounts of data are generated while shopping online, carrying a GPS-equipped smartphone or communicating on social media channels.

The concept of Big Data is not a new one; however, businesses are now capitalizing on this information at an exponential rate. According to Wikibon, total revenue from the Big Data market is expected in increase from $18.3 billion in 2014 to $92.2 billion by 2026.

Businesses of all sizes and across all industries are seeing the value in these significant consumer insights and are using them to drive sales and boost growth.


Big Data is the large volume of data – both structured and unstructured – that can be used to generate actionable insights and drive business growth. Internally, this information comes from businesses’ archives, CRM software and data storage; externally, businesses derive data from social media, the Internet, sensor data, machine log data and more.

Research giant Gartner’s three V’s of Big Data are volume, velocity and variety, meaning “data that contains greater variety arriving in increasing volumes and with ever-higher velocity.” There is so much more to having access to unlimited amounts of information, businesses need high-quality information in a timely manner that is specific to their industry and customers.


The significance of Big Data does not revolve around the large amount of information available, but rather how companies use it. Businesses can take data from any source and analyze it to find actionable answers that enable cost reductions, time reductions, new product development and smarter decision making.

The primary way businesses can utilize Big Data is to better understand who their customers are – learning who buys their products or services and how they are used by customers. With this information, businesses can more successfully target similar consumers and improve or create better products to meet their customers’ needs.

This detailed, demographic information allows businesses to create more impactful marketing campaigns that drive sales. Big Data can be used to predict which groups of people will respond better to different marketing strategies and understand what impacts customers’ buying decisions. In addition to gaining insights into target consumers, businesses are able to predict future trends and improve operational efficiencies with the help of Big Data analytics.

Companies like Netflix and Procter & Gamble use Big Data to anticipate consumer demand by building predictive models for new products or services. They accomplish this by classifying key traits of past and current products or services and modeling the relationship between those traits and the commercial success of the offerings.

UPS houses a large amount of data, most of which comes from sensors in its vehicles. This data monitors daily performance and prompted a major redesign of its drivers’ routes by relying on online map data to reconfigure the drivers’ pickups and drop-offs in real time. The data-driven initiative, called ORION (On-Road Integration Optimization and Navigation) saved UPS more than 8.4 million gallons of fuel by cutting 85 million miles off daily routes.

Large, worldwide brands are not the only companies benefiting from Big Data insights. Businesses of all sizes in a variety of industries like healthcare, retail, manufacturing, insurance and banking see major returns on investing in Big Data.

By analyzing the vast amounts of medical records, treatment plans and prescription information, health care providers can now uncover patterns to spot disease early and improve patient care. Similarly, banks and financial institutions are inundated with information from a variety of sources. They not only use this data to understand customers and boost satisfaction, but also to minimize risk and fraud.

With the help of Big Data, manufacturers are working in a more analytics-based culture, allowing them to boost productivity and outputs while minimizing waste. Retailers use Big Data analytics to improve marketing, build relationships with customers and discover the best transaction methods for them.

Tools for Big Data have never been better, and the possibilities for business growth and innovation are endless. The information derived from Big Data analytics helps uncover insights that allow businesses to solve problems and make smarter decisions, increasing sales, productivity and growth.

Chamber Provides Big Data Solutions

The Knoxville Chamber recognizes the power of data, and has options for member businesses to access information to help them grow their business.

The Knoxville Chamber’s research specialist, Joe Riley, can provide member businesses Knoxville-area demographic research and reports at low or no cost, including: Consumer Expenditure Reports, Detailed Demographic Reports, Business Lists and Income Summary Reports.

“On a fairly regular basis, I contact Joe Riley with requests for demographic and industry information and reports. He provides me the information by geographic location, zip code, or business classifications. I have used this information internally when needing to contact business owners or to share with business organizations, existing businesses or start-ups that have requested the information. Joe is very responsive and I’m always grateful for his quick response to my requests.”

– Patricia Robledo, Business Liaison for the City of Knoxville

“Due to the unique nature of each request for information (RFI) we receive from prospective companies or their site selection consultants, we lean heavily on Joe Riley to dig into the data to help answer those specific questions. He’s able to pull cost of living and wage rate comparisons, as well as community growth rate information to help us show companies why they should choose Knoxville for their relocation or expansion.”

–  Doug Lawyer, Vice President of Economic Development for the Knoxville Chamber 

Contact Joe Riley to learn more.

The Chamber also partners with USADATA to provide members with access to powerful “intelligent data” to connect them with more consumers. Consumer iD is a fee-based service offered to Chamber members at a fraction of the cost of non-affiliated data solutions. It provides consumer-based businesses with Look Alike Profiles that identify the common traits of existing loyal customers and find more people that have similar traits.

“The Knoxville Chamber’s Consumer iD program proved to be an excel-lent tool in helping my client, Pipe Wrench Plumbing, Heating & Cooling, Inc., identify consumers who had the demographic characteristics to be potential clients of Pipe Wrench. Plus, the Chamber’s market research showed us that our best customer to target is not exactly who we thought.

In conjunction with other marketing strategies, Pipe Wrench now does regular marketing campaigns using the Chamber’s data, and in 2017, new customer growth was 40 percent, the staff doubled in size, and annual revenue increased by 90.4 percent.”

– Aleex Conner, President of Marketing Dimensions

To learn more about Consumer iD, schedule an appointment with Michelle Kiely, vice president of development for the Chamber, by calling 865-246-2635.