Big Data helps us accomplish many things, both as marketers and in business in general. Many of these go well outside e-commerce and marketing, though several are interconnected. There are many ways that an organization can use Big Data, from risk analysis to product development or resource planning.
This is just the start, of course. As the information we store continues to grow, as new data sets become available, and as organizations become more sophisticated in sharing this information and its analysis, there will continue to be growth in the number of applications of Big Data.
As with any buzzword, there is a fair amount of misinformation among the chatter about Big Data. Here are a few things to remember:
- Big Data is not just about volume. It's easy to focus on the "Big" part of Big Data and think the term solely refers to the size of the data set. But remember, it's about more than that. As discussed previously, there are also variety and velocity to take into account.
- Big Data only has a few uses. Its uses go well beyond digital marketing, though that is one area that shows much promise in the years ahead. Big Data is currently being used in everything from meteorological analysis, to human genome analysis, to traffic pattern analysis and to risk analysis across enterprises.
- Big Data is a trend, not a thing. As James Green of Magnetic puts it, "Data is constantly being generated about what you've sold, what you've advertised, where people go and what they're doing. You can track everything down to an individual in ways that you were never able to before—but that doesn't mean that every single thing is worth tracking."
Big Data is here to stay, and its applications are diverse. The organizations that use it well will flourish, and those that don't will grow less competitive due to inefficiencies, lack of connection with their customers, lost opportunities without having real time adjustments, and decreased profitability.