2014 Preview - Paul Dalton on Big Data






Sorting the pieces of the Big Data puzzle.

Big is a very subjective word, and what a year’s worth of big is for the largest company in Ireland might be a day of data for a global social media network. But as we all know, it’s not really the size of your data, but what you do with it.

Consumer Data is a jigsaw puzzle that allows you to build a picture of your target audience. But in order to get the complete picture you need to complete the jigsaw, but the box is blank so you have no guide to work from and every company builds a slightly different but imperfect picture using the same pieces. And then it turns out that unless you have all the pictures from all the jigsaws you still don’t have the consumer nailed.

Three call outs for 2014:

1/ 'Get into Big Data'
Companies who have Data at their core will be in the strongest position to make sense of it, but there will be fewer companies who take this to the next level and create a platform that can be used to access and create a shared benefit from their data. Those who don’t have data at their core will find themselves investing in ways to fill this void, in some cases they will need to look to others who already have this capability, for some they will look to build the resource for themselves. Look out for more companies with “Big Data” as a specific expertise called out.

2/ 'Data refinement'
Knowing your customer because you have 10 useful insights on them is far better than having 10,000 pieces of unconnected information about them. I can know that you like football, visited the UK twice and bought a bus ticket, but does that help me understand if you want to buy cornflakes? Data collection, retention and analysis needs to be focused and relevant. It needs to be timely, and most all product aligned. Knowing what data is, will be the key.

3/ 'Active Targeting'
Data can be used to ensure that we get the right audience, but this needs to be active and not re-active. A lot of targeting is done using information on my previous behaviour, but the targeting that is going to have the most impact in 2014 will be that which reacts to what I’m doing now.

We are strong believers in Active Targeting, real time advertising directly to the hand of the consumer will ultimately be the way forward for marketers next year. 

To contact Paul directly, please email paul.dalton@o2.com 

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