Part Two: 10 Big Data Trends to Get Ahead of Now

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This is the second blog article in a two-part series. 

As interest in Big Data increases, so do marketers’ challenges. From having the capabilities to apply sophisticated quantitative analysis to their Big Data efforts to centralizing their analyses, many marketers are faced with unfamiliar mandates. To help get marketers on track, I offer these Big Data trends and challenges, as well as their accompanying directives or solutions.

6. Data as a Corporate Asset

Companies are seeing data as a significant corporate asset and a driver of competitive advantage. Through the ability to collect and integrate market data with partner data, transactional data, and consumer behavioral data, companies can make better decisions around their investments and know which products to develop and services to offer. If a company can utilize this data to build flexible, dynamic business processes that adapt to the consumer’s behavior and use a financial lens, then what they’re doing is building better customer experiences based on intelligence that is grounded in a better set of economics. That’s hard to replicate by competitors and positions Big Data as a competitive advantage.

Big Data Directive: Big Data will help to create new growth opportunities and entirely new categories for companies. Forward-thinking leaders across sectors should begin to aggressively build their organizations’ Big Data capabilities to leverage these opportunities.

7. Demand for Data Nerds Outstrips Supply

If you look at the people who understand data and how to leverage it—the practitioners, data scientists, and analysts—the number of those people will be outstripped by the demand for those people as growth for this type job increases in the foreseeable future.

Colleges will also likely offer more courses and specialty curriculum around Big Data and analytics, and we will see universities teaching an integrated approach to data analytics and business intelligence at a graduate level.

Big Data Directive: Companies are trying to make sense of what the data can tell them about how to do business better. That, in turn, is fueling demand for people who can make sense of the information. Big Data leaders must make investments in hiring experienced data analysts who can drive business results

8. Experiments aren’t Just for the Lab Anymore

Rapid testing becomes the new way that companies make decisions. It allows companies to distinguish the difference between causation and correlation, and improves financial outcomes. Now companies can use this data to conduct rapid testing of offers and of business processes that positively impact the customer experience. This ability to do rapid analysis and apply financial rigor positions Big Data as the new way to make decisions. With Big Data being easily accessible and driving dynamic processes and services, companies will really create the discipline and financial rigor that drives sound decision-making and allow companies to make distinctions between causation and correlation.

Big Data Directive: Big Data creates a culture of listening to consumer sentiment to make informed decisions. To stay ahead of the curve, companies must be able to rapidly conduct analysis on their enterprise and partner data. To enable rapid analysis, organizations must ensure that the technologies, processes, and people are in place to conduct regular analysis and ensure that data isn’t sitting unattended for too long.

9. The Rise of New Companies, New Businesses, and the Turbo-Charging of Some Older Companies

There is value in exhaust data, that mountain of random, unstructured, and at times ephemeral data by-products, which may appear to be trash. What may be one person’s trash is another’s treasure.  The data sitting in companies is forming new revenue streams for them. Manufacturing, for example, is starting to aggregate the data from its suppliers across the supply chain and tapping into new insights as a result of this exhaust data. Companies are reselling these “new” insights to other participants in the supply chain. This means that data is becoming a revenue source for companies and is responsible for the emergence of brand new companies.

Big Data Directive: With the technologies, processes, and people in place, companies will begin to unearth data and insights they never knew existed or that they had access to. Companies must be ready to capitalize on these “new” insights and have a plan in place to monetize this data. Appointing a data leader to guide this new data stream and apply directives for tapping into these insights would also help to ensure success and drive sales.

10. Privacy Concerns will Grow

Big Data will give rise to new businesses and revenue streams, but it will also create the emergence of greater security risks and privacy concerns. As companies pull together and aggregate data, some won’t actually anticipate the value of that data. I think we will see examples this year of data breaches that increase the concern over privacy and security. When we start to see this breakdown in security and rising concerns around privacy, lawmakers will want to enact restrictions, which will create a debate around the role of government in relation to Big Data.

Big Data Directive: There are some straightforward ways to deal with consumers’ privacy concerns. The first creates transparency about exactly what data companies are collecting and how they intend to use it. The second offers consumers control over their data. In return, consumers will learn to appreciate the companies that do so.​