Big data, little action

You’re probably hearing a lot about so-called “Big Data” and “Big Data Analytics.”

Here’s one definition I like: “Big data analytics is the process of examining large amounts of data of a variety of types to uncover hidden patterns, unknown correlations and other useful information.”

More and more, companies will start to discover that–unless they can win on price–their only hope for carving out a sustainable advantage is to become more intensely customer relevant than the competition. Making sense of the ever-growing pile of consumer data–transactional, web browsing, social media activity and the like–can be incredibly powerful. There is no question that innovative technology and new techniques are emerging that will transform brands’ abilities to glean powerful insight.


But the reality is that for many companies the problem is not a paucity of data or an inability to extract nuggets of potentially interesting findings. Data is not insight. Insight is not action.

Many of the companies I have worked for have a ton of data, but not an ounce of capability nor willingness to act upon it.

If you don’t have a well articulated customer growth strategy, if you don’t have people who know how to turn data into actionable tactics, if you don’t have leadership committed to customer-centricity and being channel agnostic, more data is not going to help.

First things first.



3 thoughts on “Big data, little action

  1. Couldn’t agree more. Developing sound strategy in the environment of “big data” can be a challenge. Proper investment and follow through — which are required for successful execution — are exponentially more difficult in this increasingly complex world~

  2. You hit the bull’s eye! Companies should first learn how to use their data. They may be swimming with data but until they find exceptional tools to help them analyze and visualize their data, they will definitely drown. These companies need to know that they need not invest a huge amount of money for big data analytics. With the right tools, they can get the best use of their data.

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