Data has always been an important part of marketing, but it’s never been more important than it is today. The exponential growth of the internet and mobile phones has created unprecedented opportunities to collect information on consumers, and corporations are taking advantage of those opportunities by collecting data on every facet of their lives in order to better understand and serve them. That type of data collection requires the latest technology, which means businesses have never had more access to better technology than they do now. This article will help businesses understand how big data can help them make better decisions that lead to better profits and happier customers.
What is Big Data?
Today, consumers are bombarded with huge amounts of information in almost every aspect of life. As a result, we live in a world of big data. Big Data refers to large sets of structured, semi-structured or unstructured data that cannot be managed using traditional methods or tools.
In order to extract insights from these massive datasets, enterprises need technologies that can handle petabytes of unstructured data. Hadoop is an open source software framework for storing and processing such massive datasets in a distributed computing environment. It uses HDFS (Hadoop Distributed File System) as its underlying storage layer and MapReduce as its computation engine.
In recent years, Hadoop has gained significant traction across industry verticals due to its power, flexibility and cost effectiveness.
Large Corporates using Big Data
Big Data helps companies, particularly large corporations like Walmart, McDonald’s, or Coca-Cola better understand consumer behaviour. They are able to incorporate consumer preferences into everything from product design to location planning. This allows companies to develop a more in-depth understanding of consumers and can lead to much more accurate marketing plans for both short-term promotions and long-term strategies. Businesses that have access to robust databases of customer information have a competitive advantage over others that do not, so it is likely that big data will be used increasingly by businesses of all sizes in years to come.
Can Small Companies Use Big Data?
Small businesses might not have as much capital as large corporations, but they can still use big data to succeed. Whether you’re already a small business owner or just thinking about setting up your own shop, it’s important to understand how big companies like Amazon, Google, Twitter and others are using information analysis in order to boost sales and expand customer base. We should be able see these trends emerging in everyday life. Here are some things you can do for your small business that corporate giants are doing for theirs.
Is Big Company’s Use of Big Data Ethical?
There’s a fine line between consumer-oriented big data analytics and consumer exploitation. While corporations aren’t necessarily out to exploit consumers, they are collecting so much information that it may be tough for them not to cross certain ethical boundaries. The key is transparency.
Corporations must be transparent with consumers regarding what personal information they collect and how they will use it. This has two benefits: It instils trust in corporations by showing that businesses want to offer customers added value, rather than harming them; and it allows customers to make more informed decisions about how/if their data is used.
Impact of Customers’ Personal Information Misuse
Information is quickly becoming one of a business’s most valuable assets. But, recent hacks at major retailers (Target, JP Morgan Chase, and Home Depot to name a few) suggest that customer information security needs protection. The 2013 Target breach exposed more than 70 million people’s personal information—and even led some customers to create new accounts with new credit cards rather than use existing ones linked to Target. This resulted in lost revenue for a major retailer during what should have been peak sales months.
Consumer’s Right to Privacy
In a consumer-driven world, users are providing businesses with more and more personal information, which is used to make intelligent product recommendations or drive targeted advertising. But how much privacy should consumers expect? Do they have a right to keep all of their information private, or can companies collect any type of information they want? This is where big data analytics comes into play. Businesses are pulling in more data than ever before, and it’s making it easier for them to better understand both themselves and their customers. Collecting consumer data might help companies sell products that consumers actually need—but does that mean that collecting unnecessary or sensitive information is okay?
What do you think? Should corporations be able to share as much user data as possible, or should there be limits on what information businesses are allowed to access? Have we lost our right to privacy in a data-driven world? Or is big data merely levelling the playing field between consumers and marketers?