As consumers, our lives and identities become more and more digitized every day. The more time we spend on the Internet, the more data we produce. In 2014, Facebook users shared 2,460,000 pieces of content, YouTube users uploaded 72 hours of new video, and Yelp users posted 26,380 reviews. These statistics are not per week or even per day — they are per minute (Domo)!

With every online purchase, media stream, or clickthrough, consumers are generating new data points that help define their online identities. For businesses, this Big Data can be used to create more personalized and relevant experiences, which lead to higher conversion rates and revenue (Jupiter Research).

However, unlocking the power of this data to drive business decisions has proven especially problematic. Marketers, in particular, consider data to be their most underutilized asset (Teradata). The sheer amount of data consumers produce is certainly a challenge, but there are other hurdles preventing brands from being more data-driven.

Let’s dive deeper into two of Big Data’s biggest organizational problems, and the steps businesses can take to solve them.

Lack Of Marketer-Friendly Insights

Whenever a consumer registers with a business using either traditional forms or social authentication, and then proceeds to take certain actions on the brand’s website or native mobile application, the user is giving the organization access to valuable first-party, permission-based identity data.

However, not all marketers have an intuitive way to make sense of all the data. In fact, a new survey reveals that only 16% of respondents agree that all employees have a user-friendly way to conduct relevant data analyses via, for example, customized feeds and dashboards (eMarketer).

Without a visual representation of the exabytes of customer data being created and captured, brands face the risk of never being able to leverage rich information to power strategic business and marketing decisions.

Organizations need to implement an insights dashboard capable of automatically aggregating, organizing, and presenting customer identity data in a way that can be utilized by marketers without the need for messy SQL queries and time-consuming IT requests. With such a tool in place, businesses could easily segment, for instance, the top interests of customers who have made purchases of $120 or more.

The custom audience segments can then be imported into other marketing and service applications such as email systems and recommendation engines to create hyper-relevant messaging, customer journeys, and user experiences.

Not only does this level of individualized marketing benefit customers, but 45 percent of survey respondents agree that providing employees with greater access to the data they need leads to an increase in the quality and speed of project execution (eMarketer).

Departmental Data Access Constraints

While not having a visual representation of customer data is definitely a hinderance, just 27 percent of survey respondents agree that all employees have access to the data they need in the first place. In addition, 65 percent of respondents agree that some departments have much better access to data than others.

Part of this fragmentation can be attributed to data being housed in different silos. The same business can have multiple databases to store customer data — one for website interactions, one for email communications, one for retail operations, etc. This separation of data into individual silos is preventing brands from establishing a singular view of their customers, and maintaining the organizational roadblocks to easy data access.

By implementing an advanced dynamic-schema database capable of normalizing and reconciling both traditional structured and unstructured social data, businesses can house all customer data in one unified place. Keeping all customer identity data housed in one location impedes internal miscommunication as well as disjointed interactions with customers.

The business benefits of greater data availability and organization are abundantly clear, as 48 percent of survey respondents agree that collaboration across business units and departments increases. Additionally, 42 percent of respondents agree that greater data availability has led to decisions at all levels of the organization being made faster.

Though using Big Data certainly has its challenges, the brands capable of harnessing its power stand to reap unbelievably lucrative rewards. Businesses using customer data are finding 23x greater likelihood of customer acquisition, 6x greater likelihood of customer retention, and 19x greater likelihood of profitability (BizReport).

To learn more about how organizations are leveraging visual customer data insights and advanced databases to unlock the potential of Big Data, download our free eBook “Achieving a Single Customer View: The Holy Grail for Marketers.”