If you’re like me when you read about big data you perhaps cringe slightly. What is this big data stuff? I picture a data centre, with a giant calculator running behind the scenes storing and processing a sea of data for analytics. The rise of big data is an exciting — if in some cases scary — opportunity for business. The fusion of big data with other key technology forces such as social, mobile, and the cloud brings countless new opportunities, but if you are only using it to look at what has already happened you’re missing out.
Instead of focusing on “rear-view-mirror” applications that explain what has already happened, create a big data business model focused on the outcomes of “in-the-moment” big data applications.
Yes, But, So…
Yes analytics using big data help us to build sophisticated models to understand how transactions come about, to predict results, to identify cause, and much more. That is powerful. But this approach profoundly underutilises the technology and benefits possible. So why not focus your big data on answering the compelling “in-the-moment” questions your business has?
Consider these scenarios:
- How can we win back an abandoned shopping cart? A shopper leaves a major retailer’s website without purchasing the item in his cart. Within moments, the retailer emails an unadvertised lower price. The price offer balances profitability with a proven incentive to get the customer into a store to complete the purchase and maybe pick something else up while they are there.
- How can we make life easier for our customers? A business traveler arrives tired and in an unfamiliar city. Within a few minutes, her watch taps her wrist and suggests a personalised suggestion for a great Japanese place, lets her know an Uber driver can get her there in 5 minutes. All of this based on her preferences and the experiences of users like her.
- How can we increase revenue per player session? A gaming company knows where a game player is in a game, and that an advertised offer for paid downloadable content has statistically the best chance for a sale based on what the person is doing right now in the game. They can fine tune the offer by combining historical insights on gameplay behaviour and responses to past offers.
This is “in-the-moment” big data delivering immediate business value and great user experiences.
These “in-the-moment” big data applications are real and can be deployed today. They combine real-time big data environments integrated with on-line transaction processing systems and analytical databases.
Processing data can be a swamp like experience. By the time the data is processed, modeled, and loaded, it becomes “rear-view-mirror” data. We are helping forward-thinking companies to unify disparate environments to provide real-time capabilities that leverage insights from a lake of data, not a swamp.
If you’re not sure where to start with big data start with the compelling questions you need answers to and deploy applications that close the data-to-action loop faster to deliver “in-the-moment” experiences and opportunities.