Every era has a dominant theme—and undoubtedly data is the dominant theme of this era. We are generating an unprecedented level of data everywhere. Billions of people are now digitally connected and they are writing to their heart on various social media platforms.
Never before in the history of mankind, such a huge number of people are leaving their digital footprints. They are sharing, purchasing and surfing, searching and reviewing—and all of this is documented. You may analyze or may discard this humongous amount of data, but it certainly has a meaning. They give a clue to something that you don’t know.
Companies having a foresight understand its importance. There are businesses, on the other hand, believe it more a hype. But sooner or later they will have to adopt it as this is an inevitability since technology has arrived. Human subjectivity is not going to be eliminated soon, but BIG data will be a major tool for the crucial marketing and business decisions.
Netflix is a great example. It’s not just a live-streaming services provider company, that caters to the video-on-demand. Rajkumar Venktesan, professor of business administration at the University of Virginia, considers it more a data analytics firm that actually works in the media business.
It analyzes astutely what people want to watch and provides that type of content. Netflix has a rich database with a vast library of attributes which makes it possible for Netflix to offer personalized recommendations for their users.
More data-driven sectors
There are certain secors such as technology, pharma, and retail where the role of big data is going to be crucial.
He says, “Data about stock-keeping, prices, discounts, geography, when (down to day and time) and to which distributors/dealers the products are sold. They can generate the most sophisticated MIS (management information system) and analysis on their sales performance, and can forecast it quite accurately. This data is a lifeline for companies. Without it, they would lose to their competitors.”
The data related to the end consumer is also becoming more important and it will play a vital role in improving ROI.
There is an interesting instance of Dunia—a financial services firm in Abu Dhabi. Through data analytics, it found that those who responded early to calls were not the best- converted customers in terms of value. Data analytics is increasinngly becoming a potent tool for various routine marketing decisions.
Indix, a chennai –based big data firm has presented interesting solutions to many problems. It has the data of more than a billion products on the planet. With its product information sytsem a company can know what their competitors are doing. They may have reduced the price of a product that you may not be aware of.
The role of predictive analytics will increase even more by the year 2020 when data will be connected in even more rapid manner with connected devices and machine learning technologies will transform the way we live.
“A perfect product offering is delivered to the right person, at the right time, at the right price, at the right place, through the right channel every time,” says Sridhar Venktesh, CEO of Indix.
Lego toys shows the future
Indix came up with an interesting observation. A simple digging into data found that Lego Dimension Starter pack was priced between $69-$79 range at Amazon and Walmart. It was available, on the other hand, at the list price of $99 at Toys R Us. Obviously, it will affect the sales of Lego Dimension in Toy R Us stores. Walmart, too, would lose out to Amazon. This situation could have been avoided if decision would have been based on data.
Why data is important for marketers
Marketers can collect a massive amount of data and can create a more personalized campaign. Companies can design more appropriate marketing campaigns to generate high responses. They can better know how to interact and when to interact with their audiences.
Mick Hollison, CMO, Sales and Marketing Strategist, writes in Inc.com, “Sales forecasting accuracy will improve dramatically as sophisticated algorithms supplant “gut feel” as the weapon of choice for predicting sales.”
How busineses are taking advantange of big data predictive analytics
British Airways was among the early adopers of big data analytics. It uses big data to understand the online buying behavior of 20 million British Airways customers. It launched a ‘Know Me’ program along with loyalty information with data. Know Me is an analytics software. It helps airline come up with targeted thank you offers to its customers.
Tivo Research Analytics (TRA), Marketing services company, uses set-top box television viewing data with supermarket and drug store point of sale information and auto ownerships. It offers advertisers, agencies and network owners deep insight into buying behavior of customers combines set-top box television viewing data with supermarket and drug store point-of-sale transaction information and auto ownership. It’s a 20-terabyte big-data mashup that gives advertisers, agencies and networks deep insight into buying behaviors crossed with television viewing habits.
How big data can create the competitive advantage for businesses
Big data can create a competitive advantage for companies. Ivey Business Journal in its report says:
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Pharmaceutical sector is using it to find out trends that were not evident during the clinical trial phase. Sensors are also being embedded in machines to find how they are used. The big data technology is enabling IoT.Factories assembly lines are becoming more intelligent.
Ivey Business Journal continues to write, “Such knoiwledge then informs the creation of new service offerings and the design of future products.”
According to an estimate, the U.S. healthcare system uses big data creatively and effectively, it could generate $300 bn in value every year.
Time has certainly come for data-driven decisions. Sooner or later it will replace the gut feelings in your decisions. Soonner you realize this, better it will be.