Big DataAs I began to write this piece, I thought I’d give it the clever title of “What’s the Big Deal about Big Data?”  Of course, I assumed that there would be a few others who may have already used similar words when writing about big data, so I did a google search of the words in the title.  Not until the 31st page of search results did these words NOT appear as a result.  Clever indeed!  It appears that everyone has an opinion about big data and why it’s such a big deal!

We are inundated with data.  There is so much of it out there that it’s overwhelming.  Which is why big data IS a big deal.  But big data in and of itself is not what’s important. It’s what we do with big data that is. We have to corral the chaos to make sense of it.

So I changed my title to “Big Data Oasis” (no exact google search matches—score!).  Oasis: a place of peace in the midst of trouble or difficulty.  Big Data Oasis:  Bringing order to big data chaos.

Your company captures or has the ability to capture tons (if bits and bytes had substance) of data: from transactions, from onsite clicks, from email interactions, from loyalty cards, from social networks, from your mobile app(s), from you m-commerce site, from customer service calls, from 3rd party data aggregators, and so on.  Successful companies capture all this data and try to make sense of it.  The cream of the crop actually combines most, if not all, of this data to learn and predict what their customers want in order to better serve them.  Think Amazon.  Everything from a to z.   I spend more than my fair share at Amazon because they know what I want.  Increased revenue from loyal customers is the end result of doing the right things with big data.

But most organizations either don’t capture their data or have their data in disparate locations and cannot use it to optimize their business.

For those of you who don’t capture your data, you must start. You likely already have the transaction data.  Add to that click stream data, which is relatively easy to capture, and you now know a lot more about your customers than you did before.  You can now market to them in a personalized way, just by combining these two sets of data.

For those of you who do capture your data but feel bombarded by the amount of data you are collecting, there exists technology which makes big data much more manageable and usable.  Businesses exist to gather all your large data sets into an integrated digital management platform (DMP) to make your decision-making easier and more robust.

So now that you’ve collected your data and put it into an integrated DMP, it’s time to make that data work for your business!  One of the most effective ways to increase engagement and loyalty is by personalizing your customer communications.  Whether it’s an email with the latest offers, or recommended items on your website, or even customer service interactions, speaking to your customers as individuals will pay great dividends for your business.

So make your way to the Big Data Oasis where your data chaos will be brought to order, to provide you with actionable customer profiles, which you can then use to deliver value and grow revenue for your business. Cheers!