As more companies are discovering just how they can use big data to learn more about their customers – and therefore better serve them and increase sales – they are investing more into the extensive and complex information system. reports that, according to technology research firm Gartner’s, “‘Big Data Drives Rapid Changes in Infrastructure and $232 Billion in IT Spending Through 2016’ report, enterprises have initiated $4.3 billion in Big Data technology investments this year alone. The report also predicts that figure will continue to scale dramatically towards $232 billion through 2016. Although many businesses are still struggling to understand the role Big Data plays within their organizations, Gartner states that businesses will spend $34 billion in 2013 to gain the critical business insights necessary through upgrades and new initiatives.” also reports that “IT pros will surely have their hands full implementing the $4 billion investment businesses have made this year. With these technologies in place, marketers now have a unique opportunity to capture insights and capitalize on infrastructure investments that might not normally have been made available.”

The Information Age offers an extremely competitive market, as customers can now truly make educated buying decisions. As we approach new social technologies, it is important now, more than ever, for businesses to understand their customers and stand out of the crowd. The companies that take advantage of big data, working hand in hand with social media insights, will be able to accurately track and identify spending patterns, values and interests of their target audiences – ultimately tailoring their products and services to their customers and thus building brand loyalty.

As Mark Schaefer, author of “Return On Influence,” told in regards to business practices in 2013:

“My number one tip would be to begin focusing on developments with big data and analytics. We need to begin to turn our attention toward distilling wisdom and marketing insight from the vast amounts of information coming at us from our social media activities. Those who master this and can react quickly will create competitive advantage.”