Big Data: Where Does It Come From?

Julie Ishihara - 3 months ago

As we move and operate in the world of digital marketing and media, every snippet of information has become readily available at our fingertips. This is known as Big Data and it’s now one of those massive megatrends that continue to gain attention.

It’s posed to uncover hidden patterns, unknown correlations, market trends and much much more. For marketers across most industries, it can help them with better decision-making capabilities, save cost and time significantly, and improve confidence in their customer intelligence – which has knock-on benefits of its own.

Big data is produced at an astounding pace and the potential sources for the kind of data sets required to craft a concrete analysis are seemingly endless. But here’s the thing: where does it all come from? Today, we’re going to discuss some of the most popular collection points that you may already have and how you can make the most out of it.

 

Website

Much of what you could know about your customers can come from your own company website. So start with leads moving through your own pages and amass actionable intel from this treasure trove of customer touchpoints. Go beyond metrics like pageviews and clicks and explore complex data points like customer profiles and conversion rates.

Trace their paths and see which way they’re headed. Consider having visitors fill out a form as they subscribe to your newsletter or download your latest white paper, this gives you an opportunity to gain deeper insight into your audience as a whole. Past buying histories are also valuable predictors for future purchases, but even those who weren’t able to proceed to checkout leave digital footprints that are important too.

 

Social Media

Likes, tweets, and follows really do make a difference when viewed through a big data lens. Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter live and breathe data. Thus, mining opportunities for businesses will only keep expanding and become even more exciting. These first-hand accounts of personal sentiments and honest opinions about brands reveal a wealth of information that you as a marketer, should never overlook. It can shed some light on what your customers really want, point out nascent trends, and even grant access to untapped markets.

While it’s an analyst’s job to sort, categorize, and find patterns in your data, it’s still up to you to find the stories within it. So take the time to go through your own data. Experiment, come up with hypotheses, and follow leads. Focus on a couple of things you already suspect are happening, and try to understand what is driving those trends.

 

Government Data Sources

In the Big Data paradigm, government data may seem boring but it plays an unparalleled role in data analyses nonetheless. Concepts such as legal information, current events, population, healthcare and the like are imperative to apply to one’s market research. Ultimately, it delivers relevant content to today’s consumer.

Fortunately, these are readily and publicly available across the internet. And these channels are brimming with consumer interaction along with their views and opinions that could be of most value to any marketer.

While understanding this requires both your business intuition and available data patterns, it takes analytical capabilities and creative minds to craft actionable and effective strategies.

 

Blogs & Media

Whether your business is selling shoes, toys or just about any kind of service there is, a blog or a website with a strong following may already be available. Opinion based sites, news sites, and blogs are a windfall for companies who are looking to glean insights from data that can be easily segmented. With RSS technology available on most blogs, data can be quickly extracted and analyzed with recent information, giving you the capability to derive relevant information.

 

While there’s really no shortage in the available data out there and many professionals are still working to wrap their heads around the concept, a little DIY really won’t hurt. No matter how good your analytics team is, they don’t know your business the way you do. You know which metrics are closely correlated with your brand objectives such as sales growth, market share, and customer retention.

Look past the vanity metrics and begin seeing the big picture, your digital marketing campaigns will then be primed for success.

 

Sources:
Barbedo, R & Peplau R (2013, October 29) Where did all this Big Data come from? Retrieved from http://www.nonlinearcreations.com/Digital/how-we-think/articles/2013/10/Where-did-all-this-Big-Data-come-from.aspx
Daly, J. (2012, September 20) Where Does Big Data Come From? Retrieved from http://www.nonlinearcreations.com/Digital/how-we-think/articles/2013/10/Where-did-all-this-Big-Data-come-from.aspx
LTP (2016, October 3) Where Does Your Data Come From? Retrieved from https://www.reachmarketing.com/where-does-your-data-come-from/

 

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