The Lowdown on Big Data

Casey BartoBig data is everywhere. It seems like no matter where you turn, someone in the industry is discussing its potential, how confusing it is, or its benefits.
A recent Harvard Business Review article pointed out that just 11 percent of marketers depend on data for customer-related decisions. (The majority of marketers, it said, relied on intuition when it came to customer experiences.)

We already know the importance of using data instead of hunches when it comes to customer interactions. But a few questions remain – like what exactly makes big data so big? What’s the difference between structured and unstructured data? What are some big data best practices?

To get some insight, I sat down with Sophia Li, a member of Knotice’s actionable analytics team.

What Makes Big Data Big?

“Big data typically consists of 3 important aspects: Big volume, big variety and big velocity. After we capture the data and analytics, it’s also important to mine the insights. Big data is changing fast, and marketers need real-time analytics to understand the trends.”

What’s Structured and Unstructured Data?

“Traditional structured data is composed of things like transactional data. Structured data helps marketers understand the when, where, and what a customer bought. Basically, it tells us when a customer bought what, and where they bought it. Unstructured data, like comments on social networks or reviews, helps marketers understand why they made the purchase they did. It helps explain the underlying motivation that we cannot see from the structured data. By combining these two, we can definitely understand a customer a lot better. It gives a 360 degree view of the customer.”

Big Data Best Practices

“Collecting data at the multichannel, individual consumer level allows marketers to understand consumers more comprehensively, so we can target them based on their preferences. It gives a unique competitive advantage to those marketers who are adopting this approach.

The most important thing is to capture the data and be able to tie everything together to each individual consumer. Some marketers only capture data piece by piece, so they have transaction data and they have social network data, but they are not connected.

People who made comments on a social network may not be those who made purchase, so their behaviors and opinions could be totally different. It’s very critical to connect the dots to understand what is truly driving the sale.”

One Comment

  1. Posted November 7, 2012 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

    Reblogged this on IT Lyderis.

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  1. […] going away anytime soon. To give you some tips for getting started with the concept of big data, I chatted with Sophia Li from our actionable analytics team. Thankfully Sophia wasn’t done answering […]

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