Back in the 1980s data was pretty cool, even though it was thin on the ground and nowhere near ‘big’. You’d take a few thousand records, making sure you had a statistically valid chunk. You’d throw the data into a spreadsheet and interrogate it to see if any patterns emerged. If you found a pattern you’d try to apply it back to your creative treatment, the message, the copy, the visuals, whatever. And it worked just fine. Even way back in the ’80s, when Big Data didn’t yet exist, marketers were aware of the value of knowledge.
Roll forward time to now, a marketing landscape full of phrases like analytics, insight, Big Data, engagement, the customer journey, conversion
But what, exactly, are the practical benefits of the business intelligence you extract from Big Data? Here are 6 of the best.
1.Because your competitors are probably doing it
It’s tougher than ever out there, and businesses are pulling out all the stops to gain a competitive advantage. When your competitors are accessing the insights available via big data and you aren’t, you’ll soon find yourself at a competitive disadvantage.
Imagine you sell insurance in Asia, and you are
2. Because it is packed with wisdom
It’s hard to avoid generating big data these days. In some cases the collection side of things is entirely automatic, for example the logs your website creates in the background, which reveal the ways people use your site, and what information they find the most interesting and useful. It includes the conversations your customers have on social media, sales records, quality assurance data, performance-related and financial data. If your business is affected by outside influences like the weather, you can get data about that, too.
You might not know it, but you’re sitting on a marketing goldmine. All you need to do is figure out how to extract it, interrogate it and use it to drive better returns on investment, better business protocols, better processes and procedures, and of course much better marketing results.
Full-stack platforms let you mine data to identify complementary data sources. Data visualisation delivers big picture views which make good business decisions easier. Augmented analytics uses artificial intelligence to manipulate data fast and generate insights even more easily. And none of it is rocket science.
3. Because it helps you explore different futures
Self-service business intelligence has changed the world. No more having bright ideas then sending them up through the management tree for a yes or no. Now employees can explore different scenarios on the job, without an IT professional, and report the real-life potential upwards. It’s possible to make queries on the hoof, with no time consuming, expensive programming. You get the answers you need fast, easily, and at a lower cost than ever.
4. Because it helps break barriers
The best businesses have employees who are all singing from the same sheet, a cohesive group of individuals who work together like clockwork. But that’s only possible when you don’t create silos, instead providing essential information to everyone. When you centralise data, walls tumble down. There’s one truth for everyone to hang their hats on. Shared dashboards and natural language queries help teams collaborate and departments find common ground. When real-time interactive displays link to data everyone agrees on, you reach business goals faster and more efficiently. A
5. Because it helps predict the future
It isn’t magic. Nobody can actually predict the future. But predictive analytics does allow you to spot emerging trends and look into how they might develop. Finding patterns in historical data and looking for the same patterns in new data lets you figure out the likelihood of something happening. And Artificial Intelligence plus machine learning means a computer can do the work for you, analysing data faster than a human could ever hope to. If you have a question to ask about the future, big data might well help you find the answers.
6. Because it’s already embedded in a multitude of applications
Business Intelligence sits at the heart of many an application and drives numerous software tools. That means it is easy to integrate actionable reporting and analytics into apps and business processes. All the end-user sees is an ordinary on-screen menu, intuitive and user-friendly. If the tools are there for you and you don’t use them, it’s your loss.
A bright future for big data
The market research giant Forrester predicts embedded BI will be the new norm within the next five years. We agree. Big data is the future, the best way to achieve your business goals and resolve business issues.
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