The main Big Data problem today is that data still has to be labelled and categorized manually and this is what keeps the marvels of Big Data out of reach for most enterprises. Some may argue there might be an even bigger Big Data problem for businesses operating in th real world.
Big Data is getting… well, pretty big, especially when coupled with IoT. It is expected to change the landscape of Marketing, and of the way businesses do business, by enabling predictability of sales and customers’ needs and expectations, thanks to real-time analysis and visualizations of huge amount of structured and unstructured data gathered from the digital realm (mobile apps, web, website, social media, etc.).
And that’s great if you’re a large company with large resources, with big budgets and big clients, mostly operating in the digital world and producing huge amount of data to dive into so to extract those Marketing Intelligence pearls that will provide you with a competitive edge.
Many predict that Big Data-savvy will be a must of the next generation CMOs’ successful profile.
But what if the bulk of your business (and revenues) is done by foot, that is by either a Sales Force or a Technical Service working on a P2P mode in the real world; what then? Is Big Data going to be a big thing for you too? Well, probably not in the way Big Data is being described today.
The Big Data problem is, well… the Data part
We know for a fact now that IBM and other large companies are employing workers to do data cleaning and labeling so to properly feed data to their Clients’ Big Data visualizing tools; that is, they sort meaningful data from noise and they label it with the right categories.
Large companies are experiencing that Big Data problem, although many have jumped on the Big Data wagon, they are stuck with the data cleaning and labeling tasks prior to feeding their Big Data visualizing tools and they are already devoting a large part of their BI experts (50 to 90% of their BI resources) to this fastidious task.
And that’s the only way they can make Big Data… big for them!
There are two points to take notice of here:
- To make Big Data a big thing for your enterprise, you must feed it right
- BI experts are very much involved with feeding the Big Data monster
So what makes the Data Big?
Well, one must take notice that Business Intelligence and Marketing Intelligence functions have been around for a while now, either being executed by your own IT department (CTO) or by your most trusted IT Consulting Firm, and that most companies have benefited from such expertise, even those operating in the real world.
One must also take notice to the facts that both BI and Big Data feed on the same thing, data, and that BI and Big Data pretty much serve the same purpose; that is, understanding better the customer experience through the data so to extend Customer Lifecycle, maximize purchase and increase loyalty. And by extension, enhance Customer Support & Clientele Service as well.
That’s how best-in-class Marketers (CMOs) have distinguished themselves from the competition since the New Millennium or so; by using data to better understand the customer journey, thanks to their CTOs (and IT Consultants).
And that’s a Big thing.
The purpose of Marketing is to extract Intelligence from the data and to create customer value with that Intelligence.
So, how can you fix the Big Data problem and make your Data a Big thing when operating in the real world?
- First you have to find where the Data with high Intelligence potential is
- Second, you have to find the right resource that can extract that Data and turn it into actionable Intelligence (your CTO or your IT Consultant)
In short, your CTO (and your IT Consultant) is the best partner for the CMO when it comes to building the appropriate data models to help create better experiences for customers.
Which is the ultimate purpose of data, right?
But the Big Data approach is missing one major piece of the puzzle, the real world; when most of your work is done by foot by a Sales Force or a Technical Brigade. Big Data lives and dies in the digital world, it is not much concerned with data from the real world.
So, in that case, when the most meaningful part of the customer relationship is taking place at the Touch Point, when a client and a sales executive or technician meet, and a sale, a deal, a negotiation is taking place or a service is being executed; there is a lot of meaningful data created (mostly unstructured) which Big Data kind of leaves behind.
The whole real-world customer experience, especially the moment a Sale or a Service occurs (at the Touch Point communications and documentation exchanges), must be documented and its data (most of which is not digital) included in the data models.
Here’s an overview of the data created that must be documented when your key operations or business processes happen in the real world:
- First Contact (where, how, when, nature of the lead, etc.)
- Communications (emails, phone calls, meetings’ notes, etc.)
- 1st Proposal on paper (negotiations’ notes)
- Approved Proposal (final paper version )
- Legal, Financial & Specifics (clauses and features requested, on paper)
- Post-Sale Support (emails and calls and meetings, etc.)
- Clientele Service (emails and calls and meetings, etc.)
If your CTO (or IT Consultant) has been doing Business Intelligence for your company, he should know your business process pretty well by now. He might even have developed a mobile app, a CRM or a Database and he may even have implemented Business Rules and Metrics to gather Intelligence from the real world (with the help of sales reps or technicians), in order to show KPIs on your company’s Dashboards.
When it comes to Big Data, your IT Consultant may have the solution to help you solve the Big Data problem and connect it to your real world operations because he understands your challenges and the value of your data.
In short, he / she will know where to gather the right data and turn it into something BIG.
Denis Paul & Michel
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