How do companies really use all the data out there? Most of it seems according to a report from IBM and Saïd Business School (Analytics: The real-world use of big data How innovative enterprises extract value from uncertain data) to be used in order to understand the customers better:
Companies clearly see big data as providing the ability to better understand and predict customer behaviors, and by doing so, improve the customer experience. Transactions, multi-channel interactions, social media, syndicated data through sources like loyalty cards, and other customer-related information have increased the ability of organizations to create a complete picture of customers’ preferences and demands – a goal of marketing, sales and customer service for decades.
This is being interesting and a important signal to companies who isn’t into Big Data yet.
But I think it is important to underline a couple of things put this development in perspective:
- It seems like most of these “innovative” companies still have their focus on their near transaction environment, in this case the customers, and not on the larger picture how the whole business environment is changing. Why is that an issue? With an increasing pace of change and the multiplying effects of several concurrent driving forces this is most likely a far too narrow perspective to really have an impact on the business performance in more than 6 months ahead.
- This current use of Big Data is just a very simple and still immature way of using the available data comparing to what will be possible a couple of years down the road. Companies need to see this use of data, not as an objective to achieve but a small step into a world where the use of big data will be paramount for almost every business transaction which isn’t by definition extremely short term and of a risk taking nature.