Big Data,Insights,Marketing Research

The joy of working with data!

I’ve had the amazing opportunity to work in a retail company for many years now. If there is something I have learned is that retail is an industry that is driven by data and that marketing in retail is especially data-rich.

My experience with Big Data has been in retail marketing, so I can only talk about this industry in specific, but the following tips on how to start working with these large amounts of data, I believe can work for any industry.

he term Big Data can sound overwhelming, so my first tip to start working with the data you have is to understand what you have available. When I started the first thing we started looking at was: Is the data clean? Is the data up to date?  Once we took a look at this (in our case, sadly, not all the data was clean and up to date) we traced a plan to get all the stakeholders involved on strategies that would help us get clean and current data. If your case is different and your data is clean and up to date, then go ahead to the next tip.

When you know you can trust your data, you need to know what resources you have to mine it. Mining data is another unusual term if you haven’t worked with big data before, but what it means is how are you going to make your data easier to interpret and understand. You want to find patterns and connections in your data, but you need experts that can help you take a look into the data to let you know what you have available.

Data mining can be daunting and time-consuming, so my next tip would be to get all the leaders in your company involved. It will be easier if they are all interested in data, but if they are not, you can help by letting them know how data can help to improve their daily tasks.

Once you have the leaders on board, you can start talking about what systems will make understanding the data easier. Systems in my experience can get very expensive, depending on the amounts of data you own or are planning to obtain, so having the different leaders involved will help make does decisions faster.

Now that you know what data you have, that it is clean and ready to use, and you have the right systems and people to go into the data and get you information. This is the most important tip I have learned… you must ask the right questions. The data is there, and the way to access it is by asking questions. Think in terms of relationships between different variables. Those relationships will give you more insight into your business and your customers and can make a great competitive advantage for your company.

I hope I got you excited about working with Big Data. These different tips are a way to start tackling this topic in your business. For me, the most important part is that when I think about Big Data I imagine all the amazing opportunities that exist inside that data, and how it can be a competitive advantage for myself, the customers, and the company.

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