Big data VS traditional data
Many commentators on big data and big data analytics agree having a large amount of data is not the goal; it is the insights that you can gain from it across your business functions that bring you value and having that data structured. Put simply, big data is not enough; making your data useful and actionable is the key.
Data structures and data management also play a huge role in making your data accessible and actionable. If your data is not managed and structured correctly this will course problems when analysing your data, when your start to use data analytics and your data is poorly labelled analysing and generating queries will become a huge problem.
Verena Haunschmid interesting Twitter post on data structures
The Sales Example: Before and After Big Data
In the days before big data or data analytics there was neither access to data on this scale or use made of the information that was available. Take sales as an example. Sales teams would sell ‘popular’ items and develop promotions based on what they felt they wanted to sell. Customers would select items to buy from the range in front of them in store. Customers were profiled on the value of their sales and this sales value was used as a target for the sales team.
These days big data can offer a very different view of this process. Sales to customers can be analysed and grouped according to different data points: the value of the sale, the product sold and even the day the product was bought. We can group customers in different ways based on why they buy products, who they are buying for, where they buy and sales teams are able to reach out to customers and discuss sales opportunities with them directly. As well as a focus on sales, customer service and the value of future sales is an important consideration; in a world where social media reputation matters you want to be the company that everyone loves to buy from.
Reporting on a range of business functions, not just sales, looks different today with real-time analytics making it possible to see trends as they are emerging and take key decisions based on data as it is being collected.
These changes have empowered organisations to do things differently. Nicole Laskowski, writing for TechTarget, highlights businesses that are leading their field in their use of their own data. Macy’s Inc adjusts pricing in near-real time for 73 million items, based on demand and inventory. Meanwhile Morton’s The Steakhouse used a throwaway tweet by a loyal customer to engineer a social media stunt that went viral. Tracking down a customer who tweeted that he’d like a steak dinner on arrival at his destination they used their data to identify him and deliver his dinner to him as he got off his plane.
Whilst this is an extreme example the principle here is very important. How can you use the data that is held across your organisation to ensure that your customers feel this valued and understood and deliver insights that you can make crucial and beneficial business decisions from?
Check out what others say about BIG DATA.
Big Data: Helping you Recruit for the Future
In recruitment it comes as no surprise that Google has built a recruitment algorithm to assist it in hiring decisions. But it has also built an algorithm to study retention and look at how it can work with employees, once they’ve been hired, to develop and progress them throughout their time with them. For recruitment agencies data is key with Giles Guest of Enhance Media predicting ‘data will kill the poor recruiters in the next 10 years and allow the best ones to thrive.’ Knowing what people want from their next job and matching them to a company is an area where data can be used both to determine fit and to bring together unstructured data – such as social media accounts – to give a better overall view of a candidate than their CV alone.
These insights can cut straight to the heart of what your customers are looking for whether that is a better job or a better deal when buying your product. Analysing and understanding data in a way that is useful to your business goals will start to show across all your business functions and can only add to your bottom line. A recent survey quoted by Datafloq showed that nearly three-quarters of businesses surveyed which were using big data to support digital marketing said their efforts have either been ‘quite’ or ‘extremely’ effective. From a world where best guess was a regular guiding principle we are now at a stage where your data can be your biggest asset, you just need to make sure it is being read in a way that is useful to your business.
Another blog on Google’s hiring algorithm
tags #bigdata #analytics #artificalintelligence #AI #machinelearning