There is a staggering amount of buzz about “Big Data”. Every day I receive emails, tweets, blogs, physical mail, linked-in discussions and even occasionally hear references on the radio and television. This is all to be welcomed – the debate around data is useful and important.
However it does appear, that at least for some, that this concept is still not well understood. For many Big Data is about patterns, analysis and grouping.
The ability to identify groups of purchasers or users with similar characteristics, segments of unusual behaviour or bunches of “like minded” individuals is important – but to be clear this has been possible for many years without the scale and detail of today’s “Big Data” programmes.
Big Data is not about this.
Big Data is about the small, the individual, the YOU. Big Data allows marketers (and others) to more fully understand the way YOU behave, the things YOU like and modify their behaviour towards YOU in an appropriate way.
Big Data allows organisations to group everything they know about you together – they can/will be able to look at your social data, purchase data, external profiling data and many other aspects and draw a picture of YOU that could be startlingly accurate. Many are struggling to get there – but they will.This should be good for YOU and good for those using it, it should allow for better individual targetting and ultimately offers tailered to you as an individual. This should be a win-win.
But here is the rub: YOU might not want it. YOU might not like it. YOU might want YOU to remain YOURS.
For organisations the real challenge is not the technology but is the understanding of this dichotomy. Producing open strategies which give their customers, contacts or supporters a clear and transparent way in which to take part or withdraw from the deal is what will make Big Data a success.
(You can help us really understand where organisations are with “Big Data” by taking part in our research here.. it will only take 10 minutes and you will be able to get a copy of the research when it is complete – and there is an iPad Mini up for grabs too!)