Harnessing Big Data for Business Success
By choosing to engage in the exploration of Big Data today many companies will ultimately more effectively drive sales. In the meantime though, trying to process and make sense of the Big Data being uncovered will be a headache. The opportunity and challenge that marketers in particular face is described in Wes Nichols’ Harvard Business Review article “Advertising Analytics 2.0”. He describes the “granular, virtually infinite record of every action consumers take online” added to “oceans of data from DVRs and digital set-top boxes, retail checkout, credit card transactions” among others. Put into marketing terms Big Data begins to become less abstract and the challenge clearer. The information that marketers and others are collecting and now have access to is mostly irrelevant. For marketers, the key to navigating Big Data will be to follow David Meerman Scott’s practical advice of aligning marketing plans first and foremost with organizational goals.
The marketers and companies that alternatively choose to ignore Big Data are resigning themselves to Analytics 1.0. By continuing to use outdated measurement approaches, these companies will be left in the dust as Big Data-focused companies benefit from the ability to react in real-time to the interaction of terabytes of data and hundreds of variables. The infinite, unstructured and unrelated nature of Big Data can understandably be intimidating for companies deciding to pursue it. However, the beneficial new insights into how the moving parts of a campaign collectively drive sales are invaluable to the success of today’s companies. By employing the right strategy and the right people, Big Data can ultimately be harnessed for business success.
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