For direct-to-consumer businesses the ability to gather, store, analyze and interpret big data is now table stakes…where to put it, what to do with it and how to turn it into value. Ingesting big data, structuring information and creating actionable insights to inform strategy and drive in-market tactics is a huge differentiator in today’s intensely competitive landscape.
In the last 10-years, global Internet traffic grew from 8.6 million Gigabytes of data to 1 billion Gigabytes. We send 183 billion emails every day and search Google 4 million times every minute. We’re transmitting, exchanging and integrating big data 24/7. Now bring on the Internet of Things (IoT), connectivity of devices and systems that go beyond machine-to-machine communications and cover a vast array of protocols, domains and applications. It’s estimated that more than 30 billion devices will be wirelessly connected to the Internet of Things by 2020.
For many, big data is a big mystery. Gartner reports that 56% of companies are struggling to know how to get value from their data. The volume of data is so large it’s now measured in Zettabytes. IBM says about 80% of the information created and used by an enterprise is unstructured data. Dan Ariely Professor, Duke University sums it up best…
Big Data is like teenage sex:
- everyone talks about it
- obody really knows how to do it
- everyone thinks everyone else is doing it
- so everyone claims they’re doing it too.
Realizing big data’s value, while wadding through the all-important maze of data security and privacy, is no easy task. Like most business disciplines it takes an enterprise data strategy and sequenced action plan.
Tackling big data is often put in the context of the “Four Vs” –
Volume – ingesting vast amounts of data generated inside and outside the organization.
Velocity – managing speed at which data is produced and flows across business functions.
Veracity – determining trustworthiness and messiness of data being handled and processed.
Variety – juggling different types of data being generated, communicated and distributed.
Getting your act together around big data breeds a better understanding of your customer segments. It helps construct a complete snapshot or “unified view” of the customer to attract, acquire and retain the best customers for your business. It also enables sophisticated approaches to product development and customer outreach by linking data to core business strategies and in-market tactics. The ROI of business analytics solutions that incorporate data-driven predictive analytics is said to approach 250%.
Finally a practical, integrated approach to big data enhances a company’s ability to influence customer behavior. With enriched data-driven insights–core demographics, purchasing habits, lifestyle or lifestage attributes, and attitudinal indicators–you create tighter, better orchestrated customer engagement by knowing where they go, what’s important to them, who’s at risk of leaving, who they’re talking to…and what they’re saying.
An integrated big data enterprise strategy enables a cross-functional approach to engagement. It fosters a more personalized, lower-cost customer relationship that improves bottom-line performance and optimizes customer LifeTime Value.