What is Big Data, and why do we keep hearing about it in digital conversations?
Big Data is any set of data that is so big and complex, that it cannot be managed or manipulated by using conventional methods. The rise in internet usage across the globe means there is a never ending stream of data being created as you read this post. Social media is a good example, the millions of likes, tweets, videos, and pins that are recorded each and every hour, add to growing amount of data on the web. However, these sets of data cannot me interpreted all that easily. As such, Big Data and the idea of it, implies coming up with a new to interpret these new data sets. Companies who are able to interpret these new data sets, will be among the first to be able to take insights from these sets. These insights will allow them to make decisions, based on what they want to achieve: spreading the brands message, increasing sales leads, creating much more focused and narrow target audience sectors, the list goes on.
From a markeitng perspective, all this data, which is created at such a phenomenally quick rate, presents an opportunity to gain an edge,an insight into your potential and current customers. We could talk for hours about what social media tells us about human interaction, and how it is changing consumer buying habits. This Big Data is a potentially large fountain of knowledge for marketers to tap into, so that they can access their target audience more effectively.
From a retailers perspective, big data can allow them to see in real time, what items are selling, what items are not selling, and what impact that has on their stock levels, allowing to make decisions almost in real time. It is easy to see why they would value such information, it allows them to try to predict the future- what will sell, what will not sell, based on live information.
Perhaps small and medium sized businesses are in a slightly different position when it comes to Big Data. However, there are still various opportunities for them to gain from Big Data. Generic benefits like comparing marketing campaigns, and their effectiveness, realising what content they produce is popular and being shared, to providing more frequent updates and progress reports.
Big Data is here to stay, it’s relevance will only increase as more and more of us immerse ourselves in the digital world.
The goalposts haven’t moved, rather, they have grown larger- companies and marketers in particular will need to ascertain how best to leverage this newfound plethora of information to their advantage.
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