By: Jeofrey Bean
“Big data” is one of the latest buzz phrases in business today. Cheaper computer storage and faster processing times let you analyze vast amounts of data more efficiently and more effectively than in the past.
Google has enormous data that it uses in a myriad of ways. It uses its GPS data to measure and improve traffic routes. From the data gained through search results, Google can make amazing predictions of where the next flu outbreak will occur. It uses millions of voice interactions in its creation of speech recognition software.
Netflix has vast amounts of data from its millions of subscribers. It uses the data to enhance its customers’ experience with the Netflix services. For example, from analyses of the movie preferences of customers, Netflix is able to predict other movies in its database that those customers will enjoy in the future.
Amazon does the same with its big data. It accumulates data on millions of customer purchases, and then uses it to recommend other products customers might enjoy. With big data, you can analyze customer transactions, complaints, large purchases, and more, to find patterns that will help you improve customer experience and increase sales.
Not just Internet-based companies use big data to fine-tune their customer experience. Weather Channel (The Weather Company), Coca Cola, UPS, and Big Lots are some of the businesses that make use of big data from their own experience as well as purchased data to refresh their value and experience.
You can make your own big data portfolio from data from multiple sources. It can be industry data, data about how your customers use the Internet, data about businesses trends, challenges and lives of your existing and potential customers.
Primary data is data your business generates from transactions, Internet usage, clients, service usage, research and other sources. It’s your exclusive view. Secondary data is data that already exists. It can be public information, market reports, economic statistics and more. Some of it is free, some of it is inexpensive and some it is very expensive (and very valuable too!).
The important end result is that a data portfolio be insightful. Insights allow you to make effective and timely decisions for your business, improving return on investment and customer advocacy. Customer experience insights from data portfolios allow you to improve or innovate the total customer experience including the messages, your people, processes, products and services.
You do not have to be a large company to benefit from the concepts of big data. If you have a modest data portfolio that is insightful, and you have the return on investment and upward trending customer advocacy levels to show for it, then enough said!
Jeofrey Bean is the author of the business leadership books Customer Experience Rules! and best-selling customer experience book The Customer Experience Revolution: How Companies like Apple, Amazon, and Starbucks Have Changed Business Forever.
He assists companies in making successful decisions about Internet marketing strategies and customer service improving customer experience, as advisor, keynote speaker and by leading training seminars or workshops.
Jeofrey is known for innovative yet practical insights delivered with a dash of humor at venues including J.D. Power Service Excellence Summit and as a guest on host John Hockenberry’s “The Take Away” program on National Public Radio (NPR – PRI). He also is a part-time Professor of Business Management and Marketing at UC San Diego Extension.