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Big Data Holds Promise for Those Who Are Proactive

Friday, January 3rd, 2014 by

Companies are increasingly drawn to the Big Data market because of the potential benefits associated with embracing innovative information aggregation, management, storage, and analytics projects. This prospect has led organizations around the world to collect constantly expanding volumes of digital resources that promise to create opportunities to gain a competitive advantage, reduce costs, or improve overall operations.

Big data holds promise to those who are proactive

Big Data holds promise for those who are proactive

At the same time, however, many businesses have encountered unforeseen challenges in their race to collect large and complex data sets. Many of these issues derive from the fact that firms are simply gathering more information than they know how to handle, which is putting pressure on outdated infrastructure services and creating headache for the IT department and executives. Many enterprises overlook the fact that Big Data requires a specific management and organizational strategy, rather than simply an ad-hoc approach.

Understand what challenges lie ahead
Businesses that want to make the most out of Big Data must recognize which challenges will impact their bottom line and identify the steps that will allow their teams to overcome those obstacles. The truth is that databases are growing much faster than ever, which has led to new bottlenecks and other performance issues, including reduced processing speeds and the presence of unexpected costs associated with mitigating those problems.

Fortunately, building a Big Data strategy from the ground up can introduce new competitive opportunities without introducing unnecessary expenses or technical complications. Although a number of steps are required to construct these programs, business decision-makers should consider developing a new plan of action rather than relying on outdated philosophies that categorize storage as a dark and desolate vault that is virtually inaccessible.

Businesses now have an abundance of technologies at their fingertips, including cloud computing and sophisticated analytics, that allow employees to optimize operations without driving costs through the roof. The cloud in particular can be highly advantageous for Big Data storage purposes because of its scalable, on-demand nature. This approach lets companies continue their current trajectory and gather increasingly large volume of information without worrying about combating as many performance bottlenecks.

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Quality Customer Service Requires Predictive, Real-Time Insight

Friday, December 13th, 2013 by

In today’s increasingly crowded and fast-paced business world, organizations are continually pressured to meet the rapidly evolving needs of prospective and existing customers. In many cases, embracing Big Data strategies will enable firms to collect large amounts of information, analyze those assets, and turn them into meaningful insights that will help build better relationships with customers, ensure retention, and enhance loyalty.

Quality customer service requires predictive, real-time insight

Quality customer service requires predictive, real-time insight

Businesses that don’t provide customers with a unique, holistic experience will feel the repercussions of not doing so faster than ever. The proliferation of social media and other highly collaborative web services gives consumers a booming voice over the Internet. This phenomenon is encouraging organizations to adopt more innovative customer service programs that allow decision-makers to understand what customers want before those demands are requested. The only way to achieve these capabilities is through the use of Big Data analytics.

The real-time necessity
Executives, Support staff, and other customer service representatives need the ability to identify poor experiences as quickly as possible because waiting too long and allowing customers to leave an interaction on a bad note can results in major long-term consequences. Although monitoring conversations between corporate employees and consumers can help decision-makers gain more insight into how their agents are handling queries, this practice doesn’t necessarily provide the time needed to make adjustments before it’s too late.

Rather than takingĀ this traditional reactive approach, companies should become proactive. Launching predictive analytic initiatives to collect large volumes of data on prospective and existing customers can help identify current and future trends. This information gives decision-makers a unique perspective on what customers actually want, making it easier to meet (and hopefully exceed) expectations while developing a reputation for responsiveness, innovation, and ease of use.

Overcoming unforeseen hurdles
Big Data technologies hold the promise of gaining a deeper understanding of customer behavior. However, decision-makers must guard against being too ambitious by collecting every scrap of information available in the hope that a certain piece will provide insight into a certain process. Embracing Big Data in this way can potentially lead to performance and efficiency problems, even if a company uses cloud computing technologies to match the scalable needs of increasingly large and complex information sets.

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Using Big Data to Improve Customer Metrics

Thursday, December 5th, 2013 by

Although Big Data projects can be helpful to many organizations, launching these initiatives using the wrong metrics can lead to poor practices. And even though most experts agree these endeavors aren’t a panacea, business decision-makers continue to hastily adopt strategies that increase challenges.

Using big data to improve customer metrics

Using Big Data to improve customer metrics

An Enterprise Apps Today report, which highlighted the mindset of customer analytics expert Larry Freed, noted that the gathered data by itself won’t necessarily provide firms with opportunities. Businesses must also embrace the right tools to take advantage of those digital resources.

Freed believes that the variety of information being collected will give organizations the biggest challenge when adopting Big Data endeavors because some of the information being gatheredĀ isn’t always accurate.

“If I am an anonymous visitor to a website on my tablet, my home PC, and my work PC, companies are not going to have the ability to recognize that I am the same person,” Freed said, according to Enterprise Apps Today. “Companies are gathering enormous amounts of digital data, but it can accelerate some bad practices.”

In other words, context is everything. Companies need to proactively establish parameters to ensure they understand prospective and existing customer behavior and have the tools needed to turn activity into useful information. Doing so, however, may require the development of new metrics.

More detail is needed
In the past, businesses would often use generic metrics that would put customers in one of three categories based on their response to whether or not they would recommend a company to other people, Freed asserted. The classifications — promoter, passive, or detractor — would then tell decision-makers how “loyal” clients are. During the past several years, however, executives have learned that these categories aren’t entirely accurate, which also means that the strategies built around this segregated system weren’t always effective.

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Big Data’s Theory of Relativity

Monday, December 2nd, 2013 by

During the past several years, Big Data has made headlines, entered boardrooms, and been prioritized by companies of all sizes in the hopes that their processes will present new opportunities for long-term success. In many cases, the programs will enable organizations to experience financial, operational, and managerial benefits much as squeezing juice from a handful of data-filled oranges will provide the much-needed drink for any thirsty business.

Big data's theory of relativity

Big Data’s theory of relativity

Still, executives can’t approach Big Data with the mindset that virtually any project will suffice. In fact, if firms take this route, they’ll often find themselves overburdened with complex information that doesn’t necessarily yield any advantages. IT and business decision-makers need to establish Big Data initiatives with their companies in mind because implementing a generic house-blend of products and strategies won’t respond to the unique challenges and demands faced by most organizations.

Although there are many important factors to prioritize when building a Big Data program, two in particular should be emphasized: Understanding the business and prioritizing quality over quantity.

Understand the business
If Big Data executives in large enterprises or small organizations don’t fully understand the needs of their specific companies, they’ll find it increasingly difficult to implement the tools, technologies, and processes necessary for employees to complete operations in a timely and efficient manner. Breaking down Big Data projects into smaller segments parsed out to multiple departments can help firms embrace more relevant information that augments key procedures.

Marketing, sales, and other decision-makers who intend to embrace Big Data must understand their core principles and needs if they want to ensure their endeavors are as effective as possible. If executives recognize the direction they want to travel, building an analytics program that caters to those specifications will be much easier, regardless of the volume of information those departments are responsible for managing.

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Practical Big Data Use in Marketing Delivers Big Returns

Monday, November 18th, 2013 by

Although organizations around the world continue to have mixed feelings about Big Data, the truth is that properly planned, launched, and managed programs will deliver significant benefits to those willing to follow through with comprehensive strategies. Doing so will require diligence on behalf of both decision-makers and employees, however, as well as a strong sense of collaboration between departments, teams, and company-wide goals.

Practical big data use in marketing delivers big returns

Practical Big Data use in marketing delivers big returns

The bottom line is that Big Data initiatives are effective for those who are adamant enough to experience the advantages. This conclusion was highlighted in a recent Rocket Fuel and Forbes Insights study of more than 200 senior executives, which found that roughly 60 percent of businesses that use Big Data at least 50 percent of the time have exceeded their initial goals for the strategies. Conversely, only about a third of companies that don’t use Big Data frequently were able to meet their expectations.

The moral of this story is that planning ahead and making effective use of available data will give companies an edge in the long run. This is especially true for marketing organizations that rely on information to build customized strategies to draw in, cultivate, and retain prospective customers.

Interestingly, the study found that organizations often have conflicting ideas of how they are using Big Data and the effects that are being introduced because of these perceptions. The survey revealed that the majority of marketing agencies said they are frequently or always taking full advantage of data within advertising processes, although only about 10 percent of companies manage more than half of their promotional endeavors with Big Data.

Bringing Big Data into marketing
Information is the basis for all effective decision-making, especially in marketing. If organizations blindly adopt promotional strategies without first assessing the landscape and how those endeavors will function, they risk not only failing in their attempt to acquire new customers, but possibly losing existing ones who find such attempts unappealing.

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