Marketers are becoming as insecure about big data as they already are about mobile. It’s like the middle school dating scene – you think everybody else is doing it but you.
Don’t buy into the hysteria. Relax. Big data is real, alright. And, its potential really is quite vast. But its buzzword-du-jour status right now causes marketers unnecessary angst. Nobody wants to be perceived as anything less than cutting edge, and it’s a status thing to say you’re “doing big data.”
Before you hire the Hadoop gurus, ask yourself if your operation is ready to use big data. Are you already wringing enough insight out of your existing customer databases and retention data to move the attrition needle down a few ticks? Are you mining data out of your existing digital analytics tool sufficiently to inform decisions about content?
If the answer is no, then queuing up big data could be like buying your kid a new Escalade when he’s still learning to drive the 2003 Honda Civic.
As I said, big data has great potential – yet data won’t become insight until you ask questions and use it to get the answers. Let’s make sure that paradigm is working on the regular data before rushing to harness big data.