The term big data is nothing new, it’s been used in the marketing world for years. Although the term isn’t new, the way we use, collect and look at data is shaping our world in a new way.
There isn’t a single aspect of life where data hasn’t been used.
What is big data?
Before being able to continue on how big data is changing everything, we must first define or at least understand the term “big data.”
Big data can be described many ways. The most common definition is “a collection of large data,” and although that’s correct, the best description I’ve come across to date is below. According to Lisa Arthur, having over 30 years of technology marketing and author of “Big Data Marketing”:
Big data is a collection of data from traditional and digital sources inside and outside your company that represents a source for ongoing discovery and analysis”
Big data is something we should embrace and apply in our own businesses.
Marketing and big data
Big data seems to have the biggest impact in the marketing industry.
Over the years, marketers have gone from making guesses about their ideal customer to accurately seeing exactly who is purchasing their products.
Marketers are now able to see what their ideal customers do, which websites they visit and which social media outlets they scroll through and communicate on.
Having this information allows marketers to optimize their user experience leading to greater conversions—all this without the customer being fully aware.
Many businesses are taking a “listen to” approach, spending time gathering data from Facebook groups, tweets and other posts in order to gain insight into what potential customers want.
Big data in other aspects of life
I mentioned at the beginning that there isn’t a facet of life that big data hasn’t touched.
Let me dig deeper into that comment.
Data is used to help nonprofit organizations react to epidemics, earthquakes and hurricanes and to improve support to those who experience frequent droughts and famines.
Data’s ability to provide transparency within a company also reduces the risk of corruption—something we don’t want to believe happens within nonprofit organizations but that, unfortunately, often does.
Sporting teams looking to gain a competitive edge (and then never lose it) rely heavily on data.
Every professional sporting team uses some form of analytic software, from GPS tracking to heart rate monitors.
The ability of data within sports is often the difference in winning and losing: being able to predict a player’s future performance, to accurately see the player’s potential and track their development and even to predict the likelihood of injury all play a role.
The better a team can interpret the data it gathers, the higher chances of success.
Data is used not only by sporting teams but also businesses big to small. It is often the difference between remaining competitive within an industry or going out of business altogether.