"The 4th of April 2013 will go into history as the day Big Data eroded the confidence in offshore fiscal paradises." (Der Spiegel)
Never before has there been as much information (more or less freely) available from as many sources as today. The "-Leaks" cases provide just one insight into the importance of making that information palpable, and easy to process for the average human being. In the case of Offshore-Leaks, 260 Gigabyte (2.5 million emails plus over 500,000 text and pdf documents) had to be analyzed. The ICIJ which broke the Offshore-Leaks story, used NUIX and dtSearch big data analysis tools for specific keyword searches in order to gain any insight into the masses of documents available. This task would be humanly impossible even for the biggest companies with the largest of resources, not even mentioning any marketing department.
As digital marketers we don’t sift through millions of data points on a daily basis, however, what I like to call "little big data" is definitively a reality. I define this as the data you collect from your various marketing touch points, be it open rates for emails, sign-ins to webshops, shopping cart abandonments, transactional data, etc. If you are now wondering or even worrying whether you have normal, little big or "regular" big data (forgive me for sounding like a coffee shop barista), don’t. There are no clear, universally accepted definitions. And if you do have a real Big Data problem your IT colleagues are likely already working on a professional big data solution. For the rest of you, you don’t need enterprise-level data analytics solutions, but software that can provide detailed analysis and insights within the existing marketing framework.
You yourself sign up and in to multiple different websites and ecommerce stores on a weekly, if not daily basis; so do your customers. The flood of data from all these different touch points is potential marketing gold. It is for you to locate, segment and target the right data with the right message at the right time.
And here we are getting to the point that will be essential for successful marketers in the "teen" years of this century. You cannot go it alone. This is not in any way a critique of your skills or abilities as marketers. It is simply a fact of life that Big Data is here to stay and no one human or marketing team can be asked or tasked to handle the flood of data without software support. Let the software crunch the data for you. And get back to what you do best: Create and develop successful marketing campaigns using the latest insights and analytics at your disposal.
15 May 2013