July 8, 2015

Big Data Without Direction? Big Problem

Business and IT leaders have fundamental disagreements on the future of data and this lack of alignment is the root cause of poor data monetization, according to new research by Rosslyn Analytics. While 71 per cent of corporate leaders recognise the importance of data to their companies, only a shocking 11 per cent say they have actually generated financial value from data. Conducted by OnePoll in May 2015, the survey of 500 chief executives revealed stark and worrying differences in how data is perceived, used and valued by IT and business leaders. This damaging disconnect between IT departments and business leaders is the reason so many big data projects fail.”

“Big data this, Big data that.”

This particular passage from is extremely interesting because it goes against the grain a bit.

If you’re active in any type of marketing space then you’ve most likely seen, read, or at least heard your fair share of “big data” evangelism. “Big data this, big data that.” Some influencers have even gone so far as to speak of big data as if it were a tool that only the cool kids use, while the rest of us are stuck using Tinkertoy analytics software.

 “Big data with no direction is a big problem.”

One couldn’t be blamed for assuming that most people talk about big data as if it’s an end. However, simply getting the data isn’t enough to benefit your company whatsoever. Marketers need to know how to put that data to constructive and effective use that will produce relevant and attainable results. Big data isn’t an end in and of itself, it’s merely a means to an end. Think of it as the vehicle that gets you to your destination, not the destination itself.

Now while some might see this as an ‘obvious and well known’ point of view, I would counter, suggesting that marketing professionals and influencers alike, mistakenly lead others to believe that merely gathering tons of consumer data in the name of “knowing your customer base” is the goal. Okay, so you’ve got the data, you know your customer base, now what? Without the proper plans of action to follow up, big data is nothing more than a bunch of nameless ID tags. So don’t trap yourself between the limbo of having all of the proper building equipment, but not being able to properly put the hammer to the nail. Don’t just gather your data, use it effectively to drive growth for your company.