Using Big Data to Assess Risks

by August 1, 2019

Big Data

73% of businesses aren’t prepared enough to face a data breach. While some businesses do not have the tools to help mitigate such risks, others simply ignore the risk. What some might not completely understand is that the power to mitigate security and other business risks lies in their data.

Data provides invaluable insights on where your business lies in its risk landscape. With the right approach, it also becomes easy to identify how to use scarce business resources to protect your business from common risks. 

Here is how big data can help mitigate business risks:


Eliminating the Chances of Fraud

Fraud can easily cripple your business. Other than robbing your business of the already scarce financial resources, it can lead to you losing both customers and investors. Sadly, fraud can quickly come from people within your company or people working in the façade of customers.

By assessing your structured and unstructured data, you can determine where your funds have been disappearing to. It all starts with the financial reports you receive and your historical patterns of income.


Manage Third-Party Vendor Risks

While your vendors may be among your biggest business partners, they also pose a significant risk. The fact that they have access to your data means that your data security posture is contingent on the security controls they apply to their systems. On the other hand, your business’ reputation depends on their availability.

In case a vendor goes silent for days, or doesn’t have enough stock to fulfill your needs, it may cripple your business. Instead of waiting for such threats to start unfolding, the trick is to use big data to identify the risks proactively. With the right approach, you can point out a vendor’s delivery patterns and predict their availability. It also becomes easy to assess whether their security controls are strong enough to protect your sensitive data.


Improve Credit Management

One thing that can genuinely maim your business is poor financial practices. While you might have a great credit score as a business, it doesn’t mean that you should always make a transaction using credit. Sadly, some companies learn this the hard way after debt collectors come knowing on their doors.

The trick is to conduct financial risk analysis and form a risk assessment matrix on your credit status. You can use big data to assess your payment patterns and identify any gaping loopholes in how you handle your finances. Ideally, it will provide you with enough information to know when to pay back lenders, when to borrow and how much borrowing will be cost-effective enough.


Assess Your Churn Rates

Lead generation is more expensive than retaining your current customers. Once a customer is unhappy with what your business has to offer, the chances are that they will look for better products or services. What’s worse is that some customers might walk out with their friends, not to mention, lower the chances of attracting other customers in their circle.

As a result, keeping customers happy should be a priority for any business, especially when the risk of losing them to the competition is quite high. The trick is to study and analyze customer behavior data. Any signs of discontent should be addressed. For instance, complaints from customers should be responded to. You can use strategies like conducting surveys to identify how customers feel about your business and its customer experience.


Improving Change Management

Change is inevitable for any business looking to grow. However, this doesn’t mean that you will have the full support of your employees. Even worse, the controls you set in place to improve the implementation of change might also let you down. Luckily, this will barely be an issue as long as you leverage the information mine that is big data.

For instance, concentrating on the data generated by cyber-security tools will help you analyze whether a new tool is working to your expectation. On the other hand, assessing the login data of employee will also help you see whether they are using VPN to log into your business’ systems securely. When evaluated, such data can help you learn whether you have the right change management tools in place or if you need to revamp your approach.


Improve Employee Retention

There is nothing that customers appreciate more than receiving quality products and services consistently. While it might seem like a non-issue, the fact that a customer deals with a different employee every time they interact with a specific department of your business might demotivate them. That’s why retaining your talent is essential, and it starts in the hiring process.

Large companies have been using big data to analyze applicants and identify whether they will be an excellent fit for the positions they have open. This promises a standardized level of quality since it increases the chances of an employee working with an organization for a long time. It also increases team chemistry as the employees that are chosen through the analysis are typically a great fit both culturally and talent-wise.

Risks will forever plague the business world, but one factor that will differentiate you from your competition is how you deal with them. Big data will always provide quality insights to help mitigate common risks. Leverage it to give your business a competitive advantage.