Big Data is causing a big stir at the moment. Big Data is becoming mature but it is not a new fad.  There has always been data and lots of it for all and sundry to use.  What is funny is many marketers are still wrapping their heads around the transformation of raw data into action. What gives?

The reality is data and the exploitation of data bas become a necessity simply as a reaction to the fact that data is now comes real time, is available to the competition and has a short shelf life if not acted on quickly. What is key for marketers and digital people like myself is how to turn all this Big Data into useful insights to aid strategic marketing action or tactical plays.

Big Data as most now comes from a plethora of sources, derived from blogs, social media, email, sensors, photographs, video footage, etc. One interesting point I have noticed is that to analyse the data you generally need to the tools to collect the data. I think that this is generally the easy part.

What then with all the data we’ve collected? Now, that is the challenge and one that can reward well if solved. Analysing and acting on the data in real time is where there reward lies. It will only be the insights from the data that makes the data valuable. We must use the data that provides insights and identifies patterns, trends, and anomalies. And once we gain this insight, its value will only be proven by the actions taken as a result. Data is useless if it cannot provide insights. So, in this instance, more data does not always translate into better insights. Maybe instead of championing the term Big Data we should be using Insightful Data.

Maybe that is what is troublesome for our marketing colleagues – there is just too much data. How to refine all this available data, so that what we left with insightful data to translate to useable insights? It is topic of much debate. Moving forward to those of you who are asked to begin the road to Big Data, step back and remind yourselves to collecting Insightful Data and not every piece of data in cyberland.

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