The big catch phrase in 2014 is the BIG data. It sounds cool. Everyone is talking about it, but very few people really understand what it is good for or how to make sense of it.
In simple terms, the BIG data is all the semantic data that is available to your users, potential customers and services out there. It is not just limited to your first party data, such as all your CRM and web analytics data. It also includes millions of other data points on the cloud that is available for your potential users who are just like your existing ones. So, ok, data is big, and it is absolutely hard to manage such volume, especially since they are in different silos, in different databases and sometimes not even in your control. Nonetheless, this part is not the main issue. The real tricky part is making sense of all that data and converting it to an actionable decision making power by harnessing the data.
Banks have been managing and using the data, and the real BIG data for years. We all know what has happened in 2008, so having access to significant data is not the problem, but gaining an understanding of it is a major one. Retailers have made use of it for years as well. All big FMPG companies invest heavily on R&D to optimize shelf space and solve how to decrease the out of stock rates for years by relying on data.
Now, with the Internet, there is an explosion of data sources for everyone. A marketer of today has tens of different tools and data sources to make a decision on how to optimize campaigns and allocate its marketing budget among different campaigns: including
~ Analytics data such as where people are coming from, which device they use, what they do on the site and the outcomes,
~ CRM data such as purchase history, demographics, and service usage information along with location data
~ Social data such as social likes, shares, comments, friends, influence ratings
~ Feedback data such as surveys, research, persona data,
~ Campaign data such as impressions, clicks, conversions,
~ Testing data such as multivariate, A|B testing, data, heat maps,
~ Audience data such as intention, interest, third party verticals data,
All these are good data, and altogether help the marketer make sound decisions during campaign management. However, now, we can do even better than all this. The promise of demand side platforms is to analyze all these different data points from your campaign and understand which ones are converting better so that they can target similar users to improve conversions. They match the same characteristics of the converted ones with the millions of other users who have similar (look alike) behaviors. The algorithms test all the possibilities and continue improving over time. BIG data and programmatic buying are really in play here, and the budgets are shifting to programmatic buying real fast.
Now, big DATA is really getting exciting, against all odds…