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Making sense of "Big Data"


In the marketing world, if you haven’t heard of “big data,” you haven’t been paying attention.  Big data draws on four key sources of information:

  • Internal data comes from inside the company and includes, among other things, monetary transaction data.
  • Second-party data is outside-managed, although “paid for” by you … information like shipping records, website logs, and social media reviews.
  • Third-party data is packaged information that is “attributable,” such as D&B credit reports.
  • Aggregated data is publicly available from the U.S. Census Bureau, BLS and other institutions.  

How do companies use these different types of data?  

  • Internal data often drives the bulk of marketing decisions because they go right to the heart of customer behaviors.
  • Second-party data can provide good clues about customer intent and preferences.
  • Third-party data makes it easier to identify new opportunities by applying behavioral characteristics to the larger market.
  • Aggregated data helps define business “context” – the conditions outside of your control that could affect the marketing decisions you make.

But how can you harness all of this data in a way that’s time- and cost-affordable? 

Start by thinking what your world would be like if you had 100% certainty about what, where, when and how each of your customers would buy. 

Then work backwards.  Think about each data category and build a representative model.  Attaining even 70% of the full picture is well-worth the effort!

Remember:  Not all data is of equal importance.  Generally, the further away the data is from the customer transaction, the less valuable it will be to your model.

 

Contact Mullin/Ashley

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