The mining of “big data” looks set to explode in a big way, as an agreement was reached at a recent conference in Glasgow in late October 2011.

The Conference on Information and Knowledge Management (CIKM) brought together many of the leaders in computing science. Working to improve how search engines can interrogate the huge quantities of data left on social media platforms was a topic of high level discussion.

Opinions posted on them can truly gauge opinion, which traditional market research simply cannot.

Traditional market research is an extremely labour intensive process and, critically, is seen as being very invasive. For these reasons, it is increasingly agreed that results gained are at best ineffective and at worst, misleading.

Bombarded by street surveys and cold calls, responses are likely to be far from a true reflection of how people actually feel and react.

On a wider scale too technology could also help with more effective management of B2B businesses.

On a daily basis, companies fail to execute successful tenders as a result of lost information, or simply an ability to locate the information in the first place. By having search engines which process requests asked of it better, otherwise untapped expertise cold be accessed.

As Russia’s largest search engine founder put it:

“…evolution solves hard problems (previously) unsolvable.”

With such joined up thinking from the creators of search technology, even small businesses could be on the verge of accelerated growth. All it needs is for those companies to ensure they are at the sharp end as it starts cutting.