Marketers are working in an environment where the amount of data they have at their disposal is greater than ever. We are in the midst of a revolution where we no longer have to rely on intuition to understand which half of the advertising budget is working; investment in data infrastructure is driving growth and profitability.
The promises are high, with McKinsey recently estimating that a retailer that properly implements a big data strategy can hope to increase profitability by up to 60 percent. No wonder AT Kearney forecast that the global value of the big data technology market will be $114 billion by 2018.
But behind the excitement of the opportunities for brands offered by big data, there is growing disquiet that technology infrastructure does not automatically deliver on the ROI promise. In fact, Gartner recently predicted “through 2017, 60 percent of big data projects will fail to go beyond piloting and experimentation and will be abandoned”.
So what should a business do ensure that they are getting the value out of their big data assets? It’s not all about the technology. Rather it’s about the way in which that technology is used. There are a number of key questions that businesses should consider if they are doing enough to generate real value from data, but here are five that are the most important:
1. Can you leave it to the data to generate insight? It’s tempting to think that we can throw in some machine learning and data will magically “speak for itself”; we just need the technology platforms to ensure that we bring all the data into one place. Nothing could be further from the truth — we need smart people to make sense of that data and pull out the relevant insights and implications for the business.