I’ve written often from a search perspective, but what about analysis and use of this data? Picture search as an end-consumer solution in the enterprise. The person that uses a search tool needs a specific document or email, and the search solution needs to be robust enough to find that specific document. For decision makers, big data analytics is a bit more of a gray area. They have access to all of this data and need to be able to use that access to drive their business to the right people, but what tools do you use?
What would you do with your Big Data?
I’ll give an example, You’re the president of a large insurance company that has existed for over 100 years. You diligently update your website and send out your direct mails to your potential clients (or the ones that signed up for mail). It’s worked for 100 years, why change it? In a word: Sales. If you look at data that is being collected about purchasing habits by demographic, you might see that 25% of your customers over 50 buy after a direct mail, but the majority of your under 30 customers found you through your website. In fact, 90% of the over 50 crowd had never even visited your website. So what would you do in such a situation? I would change the aim of the website to a younger crowd. Mobile responsive, pictures of a younger group of people, video etc., and use the more in-depth reports for your direct mail campaigns, with different demographic target.
Customer-centric solutions in real time
At the end of the day though, you need both solutions. A big data solution to really see who your customer is and how they would like to interact with your company and dedicated search capability to pinpoint individual data when your targets are contacted. Could you imagine a world where you would have all the data from every person that looked in your shop window as they walked by? Sounds crazy, right? It’s not that far off from the capabilities of websites. Data about visitors is collected and can be used to send a targeted email, newsletter or direct action mail. That is really powerful and that’s why it is the one thing companies need to embrace. The problem in the past was not having enough data to paint a picture of the customer. The problem of today is having too many choices on how to target different customer groups. The companies that can utilize big data driven choices without getting overwhelmed, will be the winners.