Technological advances have made it possible for companies in the financial, healthcare and retail industries to learn even more about their customers and use that insight to improve the level of service they deliver. Big Data has also enabled these organizations to make changes to their operations in order to achieve greater efficiency. However, without paying attention to data quality
- such as address management
for customer lists and cleansing processes for other kinds of information - businesses run the risk of being buried by their data.
Social media has served as an impetus for Big Data's rapid rise, with information streaming in from all over the internet.
Panelists at the recent Management World conference discussed the advantages of business analytics and gathering social media data, Jessica Zimet reports for Billing and OSS World.Gaining insight
Paul Morrissey of Ventraq told Zimet that social network monitoring can help brands find out about what customers are saying when they share grievances or positive feedback on a website instead of with the company call center. Having a system for gathering, organizing and processing online data can enable businesses to learn how consumers use their products, what motivates buying decisions, who is a major supporter of the brand and what effect outspoken social media users are having on the company's sales performance, Zimet notes.
"But that's if you do something with your customer data beyond just storing it - the real value comes from disciplined access to it," she adds.
According to a report from BtoB magazine, 2012 B2B Social Media Marketing: A Surge in Adoption, it's not only processing the data from social media that presents a challenge to marketers and business executives. The majority (70 percent) are also struggling with a lack of resources, including knowledge about the channel, not having a definition of success or having to overcome resistance from higher-ups.
Because there are so many sources of information for brands to decipher now, having deduplication software
may make the process of deriving insight from Big Data simpler. Rather than keeping overlapping information in silos, businesses can merge all the various sources to build and flesh out their customer profiles. Likewise, operational data that would typically be gathered and maintained by individual departments in an organization can now be combined to form a holistic picture of what is happening in the company. As a result, executives may be able to pinpoint inefficiencies or repetitions and determine ways to make their businesses run more smoothly.