Big data has the potential to revolutionize entire industries across the globe. However, it has failed to live up to its full potential for one reason: brands relying on it lack the necessary analytics tools.
Experts Explain the Importance of Big Data Analytics
Big data is becoming an increasingly important commodity in many industries. According to Name Perfection, many new website domains are registered to brands that specialize in big data analytics. However, many brands in other industries still don’t understand the importance of developing a big data analytics strategy.
A number of big data experts have voiced the importance of big data analytics. Here are some quotes from people throughout the world. Some are big data experts, while others are visionaries that understand the importance of collecting data well before the dawn of the information age.
Peter Sondergaard, the Senior Vice President of Gartner once made an interesting analogy about the intersection of big data and analytics:
“Information is the oil of the 21st century, and analytics is the combustion engine.”
Let’s take some time to dissect his analogy. Sondergaard is stating that big data has the potential to make massive changes in the digital age.
However, it requires a catalyst: a reliable analytics strategy. Brands that don’t use analytics tools won’t be able to leverage their data properly, regardless of how carefully it was collected.
Sondergaard is not the only expert to make such an excellent point. Here are some other quotes from other industry thought leaders.
Jake Peterson, the founder of Dirty Analytics blog stated: “90% of the data you collect will never be actionable or even helpful.”
Peterson jokingly attributed this quote to the late Albert Einstein. Semantics on sourcing aside, this quote makes a good point. Too many brands collect a lot data that doesn’t align with any of their goals. They have difficulty sorting through their bulk data sets.
Geoffrey Moore, Author of Crossing the Chasm & Inside the Tornado, stated: “Without big data analytics, companies are blind and deaf, wandering out onto the Web like deer on a freeway.”
At first glance, Moore’s statement sounds hyperbolic. However, he actually makes a very valid point. Using big data without the right analytics tools in place can actually be dangerous. You may misread data and resort to confirmation bias and look for correlations that don’t actually exist. This can lead to very costly mistakes.
Bobby Bragen made a similar comment, which was slightly more comical. “Say you were standing with one foot in the oven and one foot in an ice bucket. According to the percentage people, you should be perfectly comfortable.”
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Author of Sherlock Holmes stories, pointed out the importance of data over a century before the invention of the computer. “I never guess. It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.”
Doyle’s statement is classic advice that is just as relevant today.
Jim Barksdale, former Netscape CEO, once said: “If we have data, let’s look at data. If all we have are opinions, let’s go with mine.”
At the time, this was obviously a joke. However, it ironically suggests the importance of properly collecting and interpreting data, because Netscape is a failed company. If the company relied on the opinions of their CEO instead of accurate data, they deserved to fail.
Mike Schmoker is a former school administrator, English teacher and author. He may not be a traditional expert on big data, but he makes a compelling argument nonetheless. “Things get done only if the data we gather can inform and inspire those in a position to make [a] difference.”
Schmoker is pointing out that human beings are slaves to their own biases. You need to make well-articulated arguments to change their minds. It’s nearly impossible to alter their perception without solid data. Of course, you argument won’t make a difference if your data wasn’t properly interpreted.
Digital media specialist Matei Gavril of PR Media Online also says that too many marketers neglect to take a data-based approach to social media marketing.
“Social media is a data-rich environment,” says Gavril. “The tools that allow us to collect information about how our fans and followers engage with us are constantly improving, and it’s easier than ever for brands and even image-conscious individuals to harness them to their benefit.”
Jim Yu, a digital marketing specialist that would be an excellent at an SEO company in Toronto, said big data is transforming other digital mediums as well.
“Over the last two years, 90% of global data has been produced by digital, search, and social content… It is essential that marketers dig deeper into search, social, local mobile data to understand how they all work in tandem to impact ranking.”
Do You Have a Big Data Analytics Strategy?
It is difficult to dispute the importance of big data in the 21st Century. However, many brands are led astray with poorly analyzed and structured data.
Developing an analytics strategy should be one of your top priorities. Make sure that you have the right analytics tools in place and know how to use them. Most importantly, you need to make sure that you have sufficient samples of your data before drawing any conclusions.