Journal article Open Access

The Significance of Big Data for the Base of the Pyramid Segment

P. S. Aithal; Keerthan Raj

Big data is a term traditionally used to denote data sets that are so voluminous and complex that traditional data processing application software is inadequate to deal with them. Big data challenges include capturing data, storage, analysis, transfer, querying, updating, information privacy, data source, and such aspects. As of recently, ‘big data’ also refers to predictive analytics, user behaviour analytics and other advanced analytic methods that churn value from data. Data sets are growing very rapidly because of the ability to gather cheap and enormous data from devices such as mobile phones, remote sensing, software logs, cameras, microphones, radio frequency identification readers, and wireless sensor networks. By 2025, IDC predicts that there will be 163 zettabytes of data. On the other hand, the base of the pyramid markets is the growing 4 billion populations who are living on less than $ 2 a day. Management thinkers, Prahalad and Hart, in 1999, propounded their idea on how multinationals can help alleviate poverty and generate profits successfully by selling their products in these markets; many companies have been looking at strategies to serve the BOP segment in emerging markets. Many large corporations have invested a lot of money in these markets and have failed, but also some multinationals who have engaged with the BOP sector have created scalable businesses and generated large profits. Some successful companies have used mobile phone and other information gathering and dissemination technologies to generate valuable information and devise relevant strategies to sell successfully in these markets. While the attraction of the BOP segment has been a topic of research for close to two decades, big data and its applicability to doing business better is prevalent only since 3-4 years. Big data and analytics using big data available all around us are huge in terms of impact for the consumer and the marketer. It has become so imperative that there are in depth studies revolving around big data and how it can be utilized in specific and generic ways and to devise various business strategies of multinationals, companies, domestic players and the like. It has become a huge opportunity that has come about as a result of technological progress and big data can be used in myriad ways to tap and deepen the base of the pyramid markets. There is very little data on the application of big data to the base of the pyramid markets. This paper is an attempt to create a new facet of application of big data to the base of pyramid segment research on how the BOP markets can be served better and companies can get better insights to strategize to enter and serve these markets in a mutually successful manner.

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