|"Big Data" a Big Deal for More and More Companies|
|Tuesday, May 15 2012|
The use of data has been an important element of successful direct marketing for well over a decade; the ability to target, segment, personalize, track, and optimize is enabled through the use of data mining and analysis. While marketers have had access to a large amount of varied data for quite some time, the proliferation of the Internet in business and the increasing velocity of the social media firehouse is creating a deluge of data that, if harnessed, can help transform and optimize many different industries. This deluge of large-scale data from disparate sources and the world of solutions that help make sense of it all is the buzzword entering the lexicons of organizations worldwide: big data.
Companies in specific industries have been dealing with large amounts of data for decades, including financial services, insurance, retail, and manufacturing. These were some of the first industries to "go digital" in terms of data. As other industries followed by starting to digitize critical information, such as the healthcare industry with patient information, more data became available to exploit. Beyond internal data, there is also Internet data, the scale of which can be incredibly massive. Consider that Facebook currently has around 900 million users worldwide and it is serving up targeted, personalized advertisements to just about all of them. That is big data.
Furthermore, there has been a steady drumbeat of innovation related to tools that manage, mine, analyze, and visualize data to help people uncover hidden relationships and key insights that lie within the silos of databases. After all, some companies may deal with transactional data, behavioral data from a user's online activities, personal information, and even data from social networks. Trying to connect the dots with this information manually on a large scale would be a gargantuan task, but as the need grew to accomplish these goals, software tools were created to make it happen. Organizations that use these tools to leverage their data and more effectively operate their businesses are starting to reap the rewards, which is fueling the interest for more companies to jump on the big data bandwagon.
We've talked about data and its use in marketing and advertising several times on Tuesdays with Tukaiz; it can be used for effective cross-channel marketing, it drives personalization, and it needs to be treated with respect due to its sensitive nature. Furthermore, as marketers and advertisers become more data-savvy, it is bringing the IT department into the fold more, and it is pushing the creative department to utilize data in the design process. Marketers and advertisers of the very near future are not going to just need great copywriters and designers to help sell for clients; they will need talent that have the skills to use data to enhance and optimize campaigns in real time to successfully meet clients' objectives each and every time.