We Must Simplify the Idea of Big Data

Are we getting ahead of ourselves by pushing constantly to understand reams of customer data when we are still behind on very basic purchase data? Technology isn’t the issue. It is our ability to track and perform better business with actionable data. If you think about big data and the massive amount of information available to brands… it is overwhelming to begin with… not to mention the inability for some (maybe most) brands to even collect quality data at point-of-purchase or directly from the consumer.

Social media just adds to the pile and thousands of additional avenues to collect and analyze customer data profiles.

Take this excerpt from a McKinsey & Company article entitled, Applying Advanced Analytics in Consumer Companies.

“The combination of big data and advanced analytics offers retail and CPG companies countless opportunities across the value chain. In portfolio strategy and product development, for example, companies can get a more detailed understanding of consumer needs and attitudes and more precisely identify consumer segments, improving their ability to target the highest-value opportunities. They can measure the return on investment (ROI) for marketing spend across both traditional and newer marketing vehicles (such as social media), allowing them to shift marketing dollars to the most effective channels (see sidebar, “Unraveling the Web: A new way to understand the online customer”). Through detailed hourly analysis of in-stock rates by store, retailers can reduce out-of-stocks, provide a better shopping experience for consumers, and boost sales for both themselves and their CPG partners.”

Pretty intense right? Is it too much to ask for “detailed hourly analysis of in-stock rates by store in order to reduce out-of-stock?” For most smaller to mid-market brands, yes. The question regarding Big Data is an easy one. Are we overly complicating the idea of the personalized customer experience by adding massive amounts of data to an already unorganized mix?

We must move towards organizing the quality from the quantity. Start at a very basic level and build upon the data set with organized and efficient technology processes.

  • Name
  • Email
  • Last Purchase
  • Phone
  • Address

Do you need to build a social app that collects every from a Facebook profile when you cannot personalize email from last purchase? No. Start from the basics and build up.

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