My daughter came home from college a few years ago and during dinner, she announced in a serious voice, “Mom, Dad, I have something I need to talk to you about.” Of course my wife and I looked at each other and the questions went swirling through our heads. Pregnancy? Marriage? Boyfriend? Failing Grades?
The same kinds of things go through the marketers’ heads when the term Big Data is dropped in a conversation with the CEO. “What is Big Data and why should Marketing be spending so much on IT? It’s getting to be more than we’re spending anywhere else in the company.”
Big Data Applications
Big Data has incredible value and there seems to be a handful of classes of Big Data applications that are starting to pay off:
- Online: Driving value from analyzing search, social and digital data across platform and across device.
- New Analytics Methods: Driving value through new analysis methods that otherwise weren’t available because of the size of the data sets and the speed of the machines, databases and software.
- New Business Applications: Totally new applications through new data sets and data streams coming online that can be analyzed quickly enough to provide real value in the marketplace
Big Data & Big Analytics Components
If we break Big Data down into its component parts there are three areas critical to any Big Data exercise:
- Data: Data availability, granularity and value will continue to grow. It will become more and more seamless across critical dimensions so that marketers can understand more and more about their consumers’ and their competitors’ customers purchase behavior. Data matching and availability will drive this space.
- Analytics: Analytics, hardware and software infrastructure will move from being statistician centric to being machine driven with machine learning algorithms to reduce analyst bias and improve speed and granularity. Machine learning and automation will drive this space.
- Business Problem-Solving Acumen: The real problem for businesses and Big Data is twofold: How to translate known business problems into an analytical problem and How to dream up new answers that haven’t been thought of before
The chart above shows these three parts and illustrates the trends influencing each of these big areas.
Turning Big Data & Big Analytics into Better Decisions
Businesses will pay dearly for intelligence and brain power to solve their most pressing needs and to come up with new ideas to build competitive advantage. As the first two areas get solved and become more manageable, it will be this area that the organization must enhance and invest in.
We will be hosting a webinar in the near future on this topic. Just let me know if you’d like to participate or have any other comments.