Why is Big Data important?

In part one of this big data series, we defined big data and looked at some of the components it’s comprised of. Now we want to look at some of the advantages big data offers.

According to a recent report in Forbes, academic research found companies that incorporated data and analytics into their operations show productivity rates five to six percent higher than those of their peers.

The first step toward analyzing huge amounts of data is figuring out what information is important to track. No matter what metrics you use, the ultimate goal is to turn prospects into paying customers. There are a number of ways to do this, but ultimately there is a process that helps achieve those results.

Big data lets retailers predict trends by combining enterprise data with other relevant information to create predictive models and consumer behavior patterns. These models can help further analyze buying behaviors to identify the type of customers most likely to buy a specific product offering.

Creating customer profiles lets a retailer see which method of contact customers prefer, and predict which medium they’re most likely to use when interacting with a brand or buying a product.

From Harvard Business Review,

“… retailers like Wal-Mart and Kohl’s are making use of sales, pricing, and economic data, combined with demographic and weather data, to fine-tune merchandising store by store and anticipate appropriate timing of store sales. Similarly, online data services like eHarmony and Match.com are constantly observing activity on their sites to optimize their matching algorithms to predict who will hit it off with whom.”

Big data also lets companies customize real-time discounts and special offers for each unique customer segment. It also helps to automatically suggest related items or accessories a shopper may wish to bundle into their latest purchase.

Simply by creating customer profiles, a business can tailor it’s marketing efforts. That way customers aren’t just more aware of a product, but they’re more receptive to learning about it. The information can be delivered when, and how, the prospect or customer wants it.

It isn’t just businesses looking at the potential that big data offers. According to The New York Times,

“The predictive power of Big Data is being explored — and shows promise — in fields like public health, economic development and economic forecasting. Researchers have found a spike in Google search requests for terms like ‘flu symptoms’ and ‘flu treatments’ a couple of weeks before there is an increase in flu patients coming to hospital emergency rooms in a region (and emergency room reports usually lag behind visits by two weeks or so).

Global Pulse, a new initiative by the United Nations, wants to leverage Big Data for global development. The group will conduct so-called sentiment analysis of messages in social networks and text messages — using natural-language deciphering software — to help predict job losses, spending reductions or disease outbreaks in a given region. The goal is to use digital early-warning signals to guide assistance programs in advance to, for example, prevent a region from slipping back into poverty.”

Big data is here to stay. Technology means better and faster ways to analyze information, and the falling storage costs are making data collection more affordable than ever.

Right On Interactive offers a comprehensive suite of customizable solutions to help you track important data across multiple channels. Integrating information has never been easier. Contact Right On Interactive today for more on how you can make the most of big data and turn prospects into customers.

Stay tuned for the next part of our big data series, where we will explore how big data is critical to website strategy.