As people become more and more plugged into technology, they've become increasingly willing to share information online with their favorite brands. For companies and their leading thinkers, especially in marketing and finance, this represents an area of great promise.
If businesses can gather data about people and learn to better understand how and why they spend their money, there's enormous potential there. They can use that information to sharpen pricing strategies and target marketing messages toward the right people.
According to The Financial Brand, big data can be more than just a big distraction. If companies can use consumer information to fine-tune their operations, it can be a major boon. But this requires more than gathering information - it's also a matter of smart analysis, says financial industry strategist Jim Marous.
"You often have the ability to manage data in advance of being able to use that data," Marous said. "Data officers and people in the data industry continue to say they want more data and data sources, they want to do more analytics and they want to use the data they have more. But in reality, the technological capabilities have preceded the ability to apply the learnings and the ability to capture data and produce reports has preceded effective utilization."
Critical thinking about data is difficult, and it requires complete knowledge of the consumer and his or her needs. This is an area where data enhancement might be necessary, filling in the missing bits and pieces to help companies gain a full understanding of their clientele.
Technology is growing so rapidly this decade that it might be challenging for companies to keep up. Analytics leaders today have more devices at their fingertips than they even know how to use. But using them successfully will be a major deciding factor for business success in the years ahead.
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