July 10, 2014 - Comments Off on Big Data, little data – so what?

Big Data, little data – so what?

I’ve read many opinion articles recently about the burgeoning multi-billion dollar market built around so-called Big Data. There’s no doubt that with the advent of social media (and its associated impact on brand perception and performance) the enormous amount of information held in these platforms has contributed to the hype that surrounds the ‘concept’.

However, over more recent times, there are some who have expressed their scepticism about the value of Big Data and are now beginning to predict its demise as a value-add element in business performance.

The key factor to me about whether to invest in it should be based around its ability to add value to the business. This is the single biggest factor that should be investigated before embarking on any investment programme – no matter its nature.

Yes, in today’s fast(er) paced business environment, there is great pressure to ‘get ahead of the curve’ and steal a march on your competitors, but it’s vital to ensure value from what you spend. The question should always be: ‘If I spend, what do I get?’ This will at least avoid getting caught up in CIO personal ambitions or the hype surrounding new age technologies that are often on its bleeding edge (or even the CFO’s ‘no you can’t!’).

Most often, the raw material included in Big Data contains a great deal of ‘noise’ or unwanted ‘spam’ that distracts from the core of what is of value. This needs to be filtered out to access the real ‘stuff’ of interest. It can prove to be very expensive if you don’t know what you’re doing, or looking for – or if you don’t have the tools and expertise to access and analyse these ‘gems’ and then apply them within your decision making forum for maximum impact.

At Bloom, we use Big Data as a resource to develop value-based insights to assist decision making for our clients in real time so they can get ahead (and stay ahead) of the curve.

Whatever the nature of the data – big, small or social – we see it simply as raw material that, when correctly analysed and interpreted, provides a real time insight into the dynamics surrounding our clients’ strategic and tactical programmes.

When that approach is put in context with the reality of today’s push-pull market dynamic, it can provide a powerful insight into how best to manage (in real time) client promotional programmes, brand sentiment, PR crisis management and product or service launch campaigns – keeping them on-track with their corporate goals.

So, in my opinion, Big data is here to stay. However, it’s not the data itself that should be the focus. Rather it’s the insight gained from it that can be rapidly applied to your decision making to meet your goals and expectations – or even exceed them.

Bon Journee!