Mastering Data Analytics in a Data-Rich Marketing World

Big data is the concept of tapping into the massive amounts of data collected every day on millions and millions of people conducting countless transactions around the world. The idea is that there is so much data available, you can not only draw conclusions about the characteristics of a market, but also draw correlation between those characteristics and purchasing behavior, and also determine causation, and also predict what they will do next. Powerful stuff.

VentureBeat recently looked at some specific ways big data is being used by companies like Southwest Airlines and 23andMe. In a 2016 McKinsey & Company article titled “How Companies are Using Big Data and Analytics,” McKinsey opened with the question, “Just how do major organizations use data and analytics to inform strategic and operational decisions?” The piece went on showcase leaders of massive companies — such as Murli Buluswar, chief science officer of AIG; Ruben Sigala, chief analytics officer for Caesars Entertainment; and Zoher Karu, vice president of global customer optimization and data at eBay — discussing their insights on the world of big data.

Sounds great … if you’re a huge corporation with plenty of staff and cash to throw into collecting and analyzing all that data. For small businesses, it can seem like big data is just another way the big stay big by using massive and complex data practices to keep an edge on their smaller competitors.

But big data isn’t just for big businesses. In a 2016 article for Business News Daily titled “8 Big Data Solutions for Small Businesses,” Sara Angeles writes, “Most Big Data discussions concern enterprises that have all the resources to hire data scientists and research firms. But if you know where to look, there are several ways that your small business can gather, analyze and make sense of data you already have without breaking the bank.”

Angeles’ article reviews some inexpensive — even free — but powerful tools that are well within reach of companies with limited budgets. As with anything, knowledge is power, and big data strategies can give you the knowledge you need to gain your own edge over the competition.

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