There are many buzz terms floating around at this moment in time; The Internet of Things, virtual reality, wearable tech and last but not least big data, or should I say, BIG DATA.

So what is big data? Is it just another buzzword or is it something that is going to change our lives?

What is big data

BigData_1There are a few building blocks that are the basis for opportunity in a vast range of fields. The lowest base form of opportunity is the accelerated power of the electronic chip. The exponential growth in the power of the chip branches off in all directions and opens up the ability to do incredible things. Move up one level, and we arrive at the incredible amounts of data that is used, stored and can potentially be manipulated in ways that can benefit us all. Big data may often be used as a buzz term, but the reality is, is that many businesses are using it to do incredible things. It’s goal isn’t as mystical as it may at first appear. It provides the ability to not only store vast amount of information, but to be able to use that information in exciting and innovative ways.

When did big data start

Technically, big data has been around for quite some time. New technology, innovative techniques and the power of the chip has given us the ability to do massively complicated data actions in relatively short periods of time. Every time an individual makes a transaction with their bank, views their details or interacts with banking staff, a record is potentially placed in a database to record the transaction. Multiply that by millions of customers and it doesn’t take long for billions and even trillions of records to be stored. Getting that information out again can be quite a task if the data hasn’t been stored in an intelligent manner. Summarizing the trillions of records and getting intelligent information from within it is an example of how big data has become necessary. It can turn trillions of records of relatively boring rows of data into a rich source of customer experience and analytical insights.

How will big data affect everybody

BigData_2The ability to extract intelligent information from massive databases will affect us all. Next time you type something in Google and get an instant result set, have a think about the complexity of what has just happened. Massive amounts of data have been analyzed and the most relevant information has almost been instantly extracted and delivered to your page. The continuing exponential power of the chip will mean that more and more can be achieved in shorter and shorter periods of time. Bigger and bigger data sets can be analyzed and information extracted in tiny periods of time. This is all thanks to big data. The art of big data is more than having massive amounts of data at your disposal, but also the design, storage and interaction with the data itself.

How will this change marketing

The way marketers are using data is changing and will change even more in the coming years. The amount of data is increasing rapidly and it is predicted that by 2020 we will have 50 times as much data as we have now.

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Big data will change marketing in different ways. Marketers can get details about their customers habits, location, behavior, needs etc. They can understand the customer more than ever.

By using new technology and techniques it is now possible to target a campaign to the precise customers straight away. There is automated technology available and if you start to analyze which customers were interested in a certain post at social media, you can go even further. It is possible to not only record deep insights into customer behavior, but also analyze it and form patterns and preferences that are specifically targeted on an individual level.

The distant vision from the film Minority Report, is no longer a futuristic vision. Technology is almost in place whereby individual adverts that relate to your patterns can be projected to an individual as they carry out their daily business.

Why did the actual post work so good, and why didn’t it work? By always asking yourself the question: ”What do I want to know about my customer?” you can achieve deeper and detailed insights into behavior.

An example could be at a supermarket. By analyzing customers habits about customers, they now know exactly where to place the goods and where they want the customers to buy them, by using movement analytics. Supermarkets can gain this information by collecting data about their customers habits and using it intelligently. Today’s technology gives the ability to take it further down the line. The latest technology allows shops to monitor their customers behavior from the very second they enter the shop.

Where will it end

It won’t. The power of the chip will continue to increase, and the size of data stored will continue to grow. These two things will open up new opportunities and make more and more things possible. They will allow the ability to create more and more customer insight that is more complicated and more accurate. We can’t all create big data and we can’t all design systems to manipulate it, but we will all be using it more and more, whether we realize that we are doing it or not.

Mette Keller is in charge of brand, identity and marketing at UKDK, and can be reached at kellerm@ukdk.net

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