Big Data: In every revolution the bewildered masses look to exceptional individuals to lead them into the unknownâ€¦
Okay I admit that the years spent with my head in history books might have had rubbed off on me a little. But it is a fair point to make that when heading into something unfamiliar, whether in the personal or professional world, we look to those who have already done it successfully. This is absolutely true of Big Data. Businesses with a complex array of data but with little idea where to get started with it can be inspired by the stories of the following businesses and how they made it through the data jungle. This is of course a subjective list, and chosen only from brands and not from solutions providers. I would love to hear your recommendations for the businesses who should make this list.
My suggestions are:
Walmart - A real driving force behind Big Data, they discovered how many ways analytics could be a applied to make better business decisions. They are also responsible for one of my favourite â€˜ah ha!' moments in their investigations into customer behaviour.
Tesco – If Walmart were the retailer that kick-started the Big Data trend then Tesco are surely the one that will take it into the future. Experimenting with all sorts of exciting technology including in-store facial recognition and real-time personalised offers, expect Tesco to revolutionise how we experience shopping. And it will all be powered by Big Data.
eBay – With tonnes of innovation coming out of eBay Labs, expect big things from them in the next few years. One of the areas that is particularly impressive is that they have managed to cultivate business-wide conviction as to the application of data. Even with an online business like eBay it is no mean feat to have created such a hotbed of belief as to the importance of understanding their customer.
Facebook – Facebook really had to be part of this list, not just because of the sheer volume of data that they are dealing with, but also because of the way that they analyse and target the community so effectively with advertising. With this business model they are now on the brink of the biggest IPO in history and a potential company valuation of over $75 billion. It will be fascinating to see how they continue to evolve and continue to develop new ways to learn more about us through structured and unstructured data.
Telefonica O2 – For those of you who are reading this from outside of Europe, O2 are one of the most popular telcos providers in the UK as well as in Ireland, Germany, Czech Republic and Slovakia. What makes them unique is that their business model is built entirely on retention of customers, as opposed to the frantic customer acquisition campaigns of many in that industry. How do they do this? They try extremely hard to understand the customer, offering rewards along the way and putting a total emphasis on excellent customer relations. Like many of the businesses doing Big Data well, it is in its application to drive the customer relationship where they are successful.
To learn more about how Big Data is being applied to drive big profit across industries, take a few moments to check out this presentation by AIMIA.