MAKING SENSE OF BIG DATA
Guest Blog Post By Mike Segveld
Data is something that we simply can’t afford to ignore!!
This blog post will show you the value of data, some of the future trends as well as showing you how to use your data to create a meaningful marketing plan for your business.
Can It Be Automated?
There is much automated nowadays, but can you automate the entire process of data (collection, reporting and concluding) or is there always a need for human skill?
There is a trend that more things are being automated. This is because there are more opportunities to automate things.
For example, behavioural targeting, finding certain behaviours on your site and respond with specific content, is also more and more automated.
Just as the predictive side of analytics (the understanding of datasets and predict the value there from.
This is because there are more opportunities to automate things.
Data-driven is a very important component in everything you do, but it will be never the only component.
The data can tell you what happens, but eventually you have to decide how you are going to anticipate.
This is where creativity needed. It is important that you are going to formulate some hypotheses, test it and validate it with the data.
Automating won’t let the human aspect disappear, but it move the human work.
For example; The algorithms (that collect and make conclusions based on the data) have to be written.
This is what the humans will do in future. The mainstream things will be automated faster, but the human aspect won’t disappear completely.
Today’s Data & Data From The Past
What’s The Difference?
It is well-known that there is so much data that you can gather. How do you keep the data organized and how do you know which data is important?
What is the difference compared to some years ago?
Collecting the data itself won’t be any problem for a business.
The problem is; how are you going to filter the data so it is really useful and valuable.
It’s not anymore about the storage capacity (example Cloud Storage) or processing power, but ‘what to do with it’.
You can always ask a question and the data will deliver the answer, but do you ask the right questions?
Is the answer valuable and useful enough for the achievement of your business objectives?
Companies are collecting more data than they actually need. So, it is good to focus on the right things.
A clear formulation of your objectives is something that really helps, because you can always relate it to the ‘big picture’.
For both small- and large companies the trick of the upcoming years will be to formulate clear objectives in areas like:
When are you successful?
What do you want to achieve with this campaign?
You make this measureable by linking objectives to KPI’s
There KPI’s should contribute to your business objectives.
Then you can ask the right questions and use the data in a targeted and relevant way.
An advantage of the data today compared with the data in the past is that you can easily combine multiple data.
You don’t see only causal relationship, but also correlation.
Data itself hasn’t changed much, except the volumes are certainly increased.
What have changed, is the amount of methods and infrastructural capabilities to use data effectively and efficiently. You can do much more with the data nowadays.
The technology was the problem in the past, but now it is the disclosure of data.
Many organizations (especially larger organizations) are not a fully cooperating organization. It consists of different departments.
All these departments often have their own data.
The challenge is to use the data is such way that it is accessible to all peoples and machines, so they can do something useful with it.
The Right People
The real data scientists are very scarce.
These people are often people who are statistically very strong, but also programming.
This allows them to convert knowledge into statistical algorithms that can actually do something with the data.
Besides of that, it is very important that you also can bring your conclusions/findings to other people in the right way.
For example to other markets or to the management.
You can be a brilliant analyst, but if you can’t take other people into your story/conclusions, you have nothing.
This is because the value of data lies in the way it is used: the decisions and/or actions that are taken based on the insights.
If you can’t verbally express the data, means that there will nothing happen, no matter how brilliant the insights were.
You are always depending on someone’s decisions to act on your data or just listen to their intuition.
This still happens very often these days, unfortunately.
What Data Is Important?
You can collect so many data, but what data is now really important?
There are 3 kinds of data that are very important:
(1) Digital Marketing & Sales.
The e-ecommerce domain and the related marketing.
(2) Media Data
Think about paid search, display advertising. You have to know what is the return-on-investment (ROI).
(3) Conversion Channels.
What happens and which channel is the most important.
Privacy & Data - Is It Safe?
The amount of data that is collected can be overwhelmed. Sometimes it is rubbing against invasion of privacy.
How far can we go with measuring and collecting data? This is a big grey area, but it is a very important topic.
For companies that are dealing with a huge datasets, it is important to know if it’s legal what they are doing.
This applies for the way data is collected, as for the way data is used. Besides of that, it is not only about if it’s legal or not. It is also about of it’s desired. Maybe something is legal, but it’s not desired by the customers/consumers. Try to anonymize much data as possible. It’s even about what is bought, not who bought it.
It is also about of it’s desired. Maybe something is legal, but it’s not desired by the customers/consumers. Try to anonymize much data as possible. It’s even about what is bought, not who bought it.
Try to anonymize much data as possible. It’s even about what is bought, not who bought it.
The majority of the consumers do not know what is measured of them.
There is also a large group that do know, but doesn’t have any problem with that.
They trust that the companies store and use their data very well.
Ensuring proper handling of privacy-sensitive data and maintaining the trust is very important.
You can’t secure it 100%. If you can save and collect it somewhere, you can hack it also.
Companies must only measure what they really need and they need to fully inform the consumer about what is measured and for what goal. Make sure you have a good security, but also anonymize much data as possible.
News about data leaks will harm the trust of the consumers.
Is There Too Much Data?
Can we continue measuring data? Or will there be a breakpoint where the amount of data is so big, it will be a disadvantage?
We already arrived the breakpoint, but the resources we have make sure we can handle more data. Anyway, there is too much data (even now).
Therefore, you need to ask the right questions. So you can focus on the right (parts of the) datasets that are important for you on that moment.
Asking the right questions is, as you read, very valuable.
Luckily, you can learn this. You can even made a standard method to do this. It is important that you look what you want to learn and accomplish.
Then you are going to ask the questions. Begin with your business objectives.
In the beginning, you will ask the wrong questions, but after you got it 2 or 3 times wrong, the 4th time will be right.
Everyone can ask questions, but they must be relevant for your business.
MEET MIKE SEGVELD
Mike helps people and businesses to maximize their online profits.
He focusses on conversion optimization, analytics and strategy.
With his approach he makes sure there are minimal risks and high benefits.
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